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Giant Explosions REPRODUCED IN MINIATURE by home chemists

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This is great, a tiny grain silo explosion you can make yourself in your home lab, Popular Science 1933 –

HARMLESS, miniature explosions make experimenting with combustibles a thrilling, yet safe, amusement for the amateur chemist. With inexpensive homemade apparatus, he can duplicate the explosions in a gasoline motor and amuse his friends by burning air. When we say a substance burns, we imply that it combines with oxygen to produce heat and sometimes light. Hydrogen and carbon, as well as many other substances containing these two elements, display this property. A candle, for instance, is made of paraffin, a combination of carbon and hydrogen. When the wick is lighted, the paraffin melts and produces hydro-carbon gases, which decompose to form other inflammable gases and carbon.

Modern Mechanix » Giant Explosions REPRODUCED IN MINIATURE by Home Chemists – Link.

8 thoughts on “Giant Explosions REPRODUCED IN MINIATURE by home chemists

  1. I’d be mildly concerned about what would happen if that lid *didn’t* pop off freely.

    “Your head A-SPLODE!”
    — Strongbad

  2. Being an almost old fart, I remember my 8th grade science teacher using this to demonstrate coal dust explosions in 1966 (our schools only had old stuff for science and around Pittsburgh coal dust explosions seemed more important than grain dust ones). After seeing this, I always wondered if you could use coal or flour dust to power an internal combustion engine.

  3. In Robbie Coltrane’s fine TV programme about the Diesel engine, he mentions that Rudolf Diesel’s original engine could be run with a variety of fuels. Coal dust was one of them, but he settled on a certain cheap type of oil, and that oil has now taken his name. So, in principle, if you wanted to run an I.C. engine on coal dust, start with a Diesel!

    John Honniball

  4. My Chem I teacher did the “grain silo” explosion on the first day of class with a coffee can and a rubber hose. If you get a large enough airspace and particles evenly distributed, a very large explosion can be obtained.

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