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A miracle candle consists copper plated approx. 30 cm of a long steel wire, on which one is enough for approx. 17.5 cm and 4 mm thick fuel layer is laid on, which contains barium nitrate, which spark-spray-burns added aluminum and iron powder under characteristic as oxidizing agent. The burning duration amounts to thereby approx. 40 seconds. As bonding agents serve here Dextrin, flour or potato strength.

The gases developing with the burn-off reaction should not be inhaled in larger quantities directly, since they contain portions of poisonous Carbon monoxide and Stickoxiden.

Production

Devices: Porcelain dish, agitating staff, spatula.

11 g barium nitrate powder, 10 g aluminum powder, 5 g rough iron powder and 3 g strength is mixed carefully with one another. The strength serves as bonding agent. Then one gives little cooking water in addition and mixes everything to a rigid mash. With it the degreased iron staffs (e.g. Fahrradspeichen) are covered to the half. That can be done best with a spatula. Here also a hair dryer is very helpful!

The miracle candles are dried at least one day. Then one can ignite it.

The sparks typical for miracle candles develop, if tiny aluminum and iron pellets burn lightning-like. The metal pellets react with the oxygen originating from the barium nitrate (oxidizing agent) to alumina and ferric oxide:

4 aluminium + 3 CO2 - - - > 2 Al2O3

4 Fe + 3 CO2 - - - > 2 Fe2O3

See also

  • Pyrotechnics

Literature

  • Christina Martin, de Vries: Chemistry of the miracle candle - a topic not only to the Christmas season. CHEMKON 11 (1), P. 13 - 20 (2004), ISSN 0944-5846

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