Elephant Toothpaste

I like to see people having fun with science and this video is a great example:

When hydrogen peroxide decomposes, it gives off oxygen gas and water. As it is an exothermic reaction it also gives off heat. The reaction is:

2 H2O2 → 2 H2O + O2

Under ordinary circumstances, it breaks down very slowly, but potassium iodide can act as a catalyst — making the reaction tremendously fast. If there is some liquid soap mixed in with the hydrogen peroxide, steamy foam will gush out of the container. And the foam looks kind of like big toothpaste, thus the reaction is sometimes called the ‘elephant toothpaste’ reaction.

If you thought that video was cool there are heaps more HERE.

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One Response to “Elephant Toothpaste”

  1. Andy Says:

    Got her via labwithleo.com TV show. One of your students called in a left your url. What are the proportions of materials added to give the reaction?


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