Ever wonder what the light of glow sticks is made up of?
hydrogen peroxide solution and a solution containing a phenyl oxalate ester and a fluorescent dye
two “loopy-about-glowsticks” kids!
The hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the phenyl oxalate ester, resulting in a chemical called phenol and an unstable peroxyacid ester.
The unstable peroxyacid ester decomposes, resulting in additional phenol and a cyclic peroxy compound.
the Astrix means I’m exited
The cyclic peroxy compound decomposes to carbon dioxide.
This decomposition releases energy to the dye.
The electrons in the dye atoms jump to a higher level, then fall back down, releasing energy in the form of light.
Concentrated sulfuric acid is a strong dehydrating agent. It dehydrates the carbohydrate sucrose with an exothermic reaction. Carbon and water are produced in this ‘caramelization process’ (1).
Concentrated sulfuric acid also acts as an oxidising agent.
Some of the carbon is oxidised to carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide while the acid sulfuric acid is reduced to sulfurous acid which can break down to sulfur dioxide which is a toxic gas (so don’t try this at home). The hot steam creates gas bubbles in the carbon making the foam that rises up.