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Aditya Khan

Taimour Abbasi
January 17, 2019
Science 10 Pre-IB
Period 5
Mr. Lewchuk

Combustion: Potassium Chlorate and Sugar


1. Purpose
The purpose of this experiment is to learn about and observe a combustion reaction

through observing the reaction between potassium chlorate, sugar, and sulfuric acid. This

experiment was done by mixing the potassium chlorate and sugar together and then dropping

sulfuric acid onto it. The specific results were examined afterwards.

2. Materials
 1 Gummy Bear
 5g Potassium Chlorate
 Scoopula
 Test Tube
 Glasses
 Fume Hood
 Gloves
 Mortar and Pestle
 Tongs

3. Procedure
(1) Safety glasses and gloves were worn, and the experiment was set up under the fume hood. (2)

The potassium chloride was placed into a test tube, so it could melt. (2) After melting, a gummy

bear was dropped into the test tube. (5) The reaction started immediately.
4. Safety Considerations
Materials Risk Safety Consideration
Potassium Chlorate It can cause skin and eye Safety glasses and gloves
irritation. were worn while handling the
material.
Flame It can cause burns. Smoke Discretion was used while
inhalation can be harmful. dropping the sulfuric acid.
Everyone stood a fair
distance away from the flame.
Safety glasses and gloves
were worn.

Table One: Safety Considerations

5. Reactants
 Potassium Chlorate
 Gummy Bear

6. Observations and Analysis


The potassium chlorate was initially in a powdered state. After placing it in a test tube

over a Bunsen burner, it took about 5 minutes for it to turn into liquid. After the gummy bear was

dropped into the tube, the mixture immediately burst into purple-white flame. After a few

seconds, the flame reverted into an orange color. The purple flame was in particular because of

the potassium ions. The eventual orange fire was because of sodium ions. There was also noise

created by the reaction. After the reaction was over, there appeared to be black graphite left in

the test tube.

When the potassium chlorate became heated, it decomposed into potassium chloride and

oxide. When the gummy bear is dropped, the oxide from the decomposition reacts violently with

the glucose molecule in sucrose. This is because the molten potassium chlorate is a very good

oxidizer, and so it can accept electrons from other molecules. The result is a combustion

reaction. This reaction is exothermic because energy is released in the form of flames, which can
also produce light. This reaction can also be classified as a redox reaction as the sucrose is

oxidized and the chlorate anion is reduced. Additionally, for this experiment, the heat is the

catalyst for the reaction.

7. Products Produced
 Solid Carbon (Graphite)
 Carbon Dioxide
 Potassium Chloride
 Water Vapor

8. Chemical Equation
8KClO3(s) + C12H22O11(s) → 8KCI(s) + 12CO2(g) + 11H2O(g)
In a combustion reaction, potassium chloride, sugar, and oxygen are mixed together. Potassium

chloride, carbon dioxide and water are produced as a result. After the initial reaction, the solution

becomes stable.

9. Conclusion
This objective of this experiment was to learn about combustion reactions by using

sulfuric acid as a catalyst to make ground potassium chlorate and sugar react and ignite. After

completing the experiment, the reaction was analyzed for its characteristics. In particular, redox

reactions and exothermic processes were researched. Overall, this experiment was a success

because the reaction went as expected and it was analyzed to a sufficient degree.
10. Resources
1. Chemistry-demonstrations-sugar and potassium chlorate. (2019). Dynamicscience.com.au.
Retrieved 8 January 2019, from
http://www.dynamicscience.com.au/tester/solutions1/chemistry/chemicaldemos/sugarandkclo.h
tm
2. Chemical Reactions II 5.5-Lecture Demonstrations-Department of Chemistry-University of
Massachusetts Amherst. (2019). Lecturedemos.chem.umass.edu. Retrieved 8 January 2019, from
https://lecturedemos.chem.umass.edu/chemReactions5_5.html
3. (2019). Csub.edu. Retrieved 13 January 2019, from
https://www.csub.edu/chemistry/_files/Exploding%20Gummy%20Bears.pdf
4. Background – Flaming Gummy Bear. (2019). Scactivities.cikeys.com. Retrieved 15 January 2019,
from http://scactivities.cikeys.com/flaming-gummy-bear/background/