Catalytic Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2 – Elephant’s Toothpaste Experiment

Catalytic Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2 – Elephant’s Toothpaste Experiment

Catalytic Decomposition of H2O2 – Elephant’s Toothpaste Experiment

Elephant’s toothpaste is a foamy substance, formed as a result of rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. Elephant’s toothpaste is a chemical reaction experiment. This experiment is generally used for classroom demonstrations, as it requires fewer ingredients and makes a “volcano of foam”.

Elephant toothpaste

 

Description of Hydrogen Peroxide Decomposition:

Hydrogen Per oxide ( H2O2 ) is decomposed by Iodide Ion. Iodide ion is used as a catalyst. And these iodide ions come from KI (Potassium Iodide) or NaI (Sodium Iodide). This decomposition reaction liberates water, oxygen and heat.

Materials required for Hydrogen Peroxide Experiment:

30% H2O2(Hydrogen Peroxide)
1 Liter Graduated cylinder
KI (Potassium Iodide) or NaI (Sodium Iodide).
Food Color for fun
Liquid Dish Detergent

Procedure to Conduct Hydrogen Peroxide Experiment:

1.  Pour 50 mL of 30% H2O2(Hydrogen Peroxide) in 1 L graduated cylinder.
2.  Then, add 3-4 drops of food color in 1 L graduated cylinder to make colored H2O2 solution.
3.  Then, start adding liquid dish detergent or soap from the side of 1 L graduated cylinder to make a small layer of liquid dish detergent or soap over colored H2O2 solution.
4.  With the help of small beaker add KI or NaI in the cylinder containing H2O2 solution. As a result of reaction, oxygen gas generated and this gas creates large amount of colored foam. This foam comes out of graduated cylinder.

Discussion about Hydrogen Peroxide:

Decomposition of H2O2(Hydrogen Peroxide) yields O2 (oxygen) and H2O (water). Reaction is catalyzed by I(Iodide Ion); These Iodide Ion comes from KI or NaI

Reaction-

H2O2 (Aq) + I-1(Aq) —> H2O (liquid) + IO (Aq)
IO (Aq) + H2O2 (Aq) —> H2O (liquid) +O2 (g) + I(Aq)

Overall Reaction-

2H2O2 (Aq) —> 2H2O (liquid) +O2 (g)

Safety During Conducting H2O2 Experiment:

Wear proper protective equipment likes hand-gloves and safety goggles when preparing and demonstrating this experiment. Remember concentrated H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) can cause burns.

Video of Catalytic Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2 – Elephant’s Toothpaste Experiment:

 
 

Source of Material Required for Hydrogen Peroxide Experiment:

Hydrogen Peroxide: Purchase from medical store or from amazon.

1 Litre Graduated Cylinder: You can but it from any shop selling lab instruments or from amazon.

KI (Potassium Iodide) or NaI (Sodium Iodide): KI (Potassium Iodide) or NaI (Sodium Iodide) are used as catalyst. And you can buy them from Amazon.

Food Color: Food color for fun can be purchased from your nearby grocery shop or from Amazon.

Liquid Dish Detergent: Liquid Dish Detergent is very necessary for adding fun element in decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. And it is easily available in your house. If not, you can purchase it from nearby grocery shop or from Amazon.

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