Same principle as old miners lamps – and a really good reason why it was important to figure out how to get battery packs to a size that miners could carry with them underground. My Dad tells stories all the time of how his father would bring home carbide cartridges that were nearly used up – not good enough for another shift – the kids would use them to make fireworks of sorts.
Kimberly Begley Jeskie, MPH-OSHM
Physical Sciences Directorate
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Office: (865) 574-4945
Cell: (865) 919-4134
The reaction that takes place inside the pumpkin uses calcium carbide to generate a very small amount of acetylene gas. When the gas is ignited, a tremendous amount of energy is released, which pushes the pieces of previously carved pumpkin out. Acetylene gas is very explosive.. Mixtures with air containing between 3% and 82% acetylene are explosive on ignition.
The above is from: http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/exploding-pumpkin
It is just an explosive way to try to spark students interests in chemistry.
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Mary Beth Mulcahy
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2012 10:00 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] identify demo?
Does anyone know what the demo in this experiment was suppose to be? I'm guessing ethanol environment that was suppose to be sparked and then fire shooting out of the openings in the pumpkin.
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