Potassium, Diethyl Ether and Water - part of our "Berzelius Day" uploading 24 videos in 24 hours. Full video containing this reaction at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1z0AVvY9yM
NOTE FROM THE PROFESSOR: This reaction is the same as that of K with water, 2K + 2H2O → 2KOH + H2. The difference is that diethyl ether floats on the surface of the water (it's less dense) and it has a very low boiling point so it's vapour easily catches fire to form CO2 and more H2O. Once it's burning, some of the K is vapourized and gives the flame a lilac colour.
See our 24 reactions playlist as it unfolds at: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6E4F35510525FFF7
Berzelius Day explained: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDXUDq2KLM4
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From the School of Chemistry at The University of Nottingham: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/chemistry/index.aspx
Periodic Videos films are by video journalist Brady Haran
Tagged under: fire water,fire,Potassium,Diethyl Ether,water,burning,flames
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