Hey what’s up guys welcome back Now today I thought it would be fun to play with some “off the shelf” kitchen chemistry To prepare for this experiment today I went down to the local supercenter and picked up two main ingredients A bag of white sugar, and a bottle of drain opener like this. Now when you get to the drain cleaner aisle There is going to be two main types of drain cleaners There is sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid. This one here is sulfuric acid sodium hydroxide is really a cool stuff And you can tell that because they usually put it in another bag for additional protection This is extremely nasty stuff and it can do a lot of damage and you definitely don’t want to get it on your skin so it’s important to use the right kind of protection Now this stuff is labeled drain opener but all it really is is about 96% concentrated sulfuric acid and if we open up the bottle and pour it out you can see its a very clear liquid very similar to the sulfuric acid we extracted from my car battery. That’s essentially all this is, virgin sulfuric acid, with buffer. Whatever buffer means. If we dip something like a piece of PH paper in the liquid you can see it actually tops out on the acidity scale. Pretty dangerous stuff. So we got our bottle of drain open, and we’ve white sugar now what do you think is
going to happen if we mix the two together so step one I’m just taking a
normal drinking glass I’m gonna fill this up about halfway with white sugar
and then step two we’re gonna take our drain cleaner pour it into the glass
until the liquid level rises just above the sugar then we’re going to stir that
up thoroughly with something like a fork and then we’re just going to watch and
see what it does looks kind of nice huh what’s going to delicious right now take
it on a nice golden color it’s pretty sweet
look at that it’s kind of goopy kind of slushy it looks like a coke frosty see
it changing color getting kind of syrupy it’s actually starting to warm up so at
this point it’s a good idea to insert back in the way
ok so it’s been about 30 seconds since we stirred this sulfuric acid in you can
see the liquids turning black nothing else much seems to be happening though
just kind of hanging out if I were to feel this I can feel the glass warming
up it’s turning into like a black syrup oh and it’s starting to grow this right
here is where the magic happens watch this this little black pillar starts rising
out of the glass you see the smoke and the steam coming off there that is
vapours of sulfur dioxide and steam if you were to try this reaction indoors
the sulfur dioxide would actually irritate your eyes making them water
like crazy and if it gets into your nose if you breathe it in it can actually
make your nostrils swell making it very difficult to breathe ask me how I know
that even being outdoors you can see the fumes are irritating my eyes as we speak
now you can see the reaction stopped and we’ve actually let it cool down for
about five minutes so we can touch the glass this is an exothermic reaction it
produces a lot of heat so now that it’s had a chance to cool off a bit let’s go
ahead and pick up the glass and take a closer look ooh that is extremely hot that
is super super hot I have to keep moving this thing or it’s going to burn my hand
and this is after five minutes I’m actually surprised the glass didn’t
crack and look what we’ve got coming out of here guys we’ve got a big black
charred column of carbon you see how it arched over and then solidified look at
this stuff closely it’s very unique and very interesting it almost looks like
lava rock that’s spewed on a volcano and cooled down in the ocean but it’s
definitely not that hard see if we can pull it out the glass here yeah look at
that so looking down the glass you can see
actually all of the sugar burned up everything’s completely reacted there’s
no more sulfuric acid no more sugar everything is completely gone we’ve got
all captured here in this dark and demonic looking black candy cane that’s
fantastic now this stuff is pretty firm I’m surprised is holding up as well as
it is but it’s still very brittle as well let me break it apart for you so
you can see what it looks like on the inside
so this was the top of the reaction here this is the stuff that came on the glass
first if I take that and just give it a little twist you can see it breaks right
apart and look at all the bubbles that were formed in there this is a light
frothy foam of carbon this is mostly carbon but there is residue of sulfuric
acid on here as well so it might be a good idea to have some baking soda
solution nearby so you could neutralize that acid if you needed to but I’m
wearing gloves and I’m comfortable with the risks right now and I’m finding that
this just really stuff it feels firm but it definitely
feels a little bit spongy you can see all the air pockets in there if I just
put it in my hand and squish it a little bit Wow it turns to ash that’s amazing
it completely crumbles with this stuff being carbon makes me wonder if it would
be conductive could we make our own carbon bridges our own carbon electrodes
out of sulfuric acid and sugar we should try that with the arc furnace see if it
conducts electricity this is the part here that was down in the glass I’m
going to break that apart for you and it just snaps cleanly and evenly and
without any problem at all and you can see even though this is firm this is a
piece that was down to glass and I think maybe the sulfuric acid ran out and
that’s why the reaction didn’t continue this top part is really crumbly but as
we get closer to the bottom here oh that’s crumbly as well haha and still
really hot ouch that’s really hot crazy crazy how much heat that captures watch
this that’s it it’s gone easy as that okay
cool apparently now we have a process we can make a black carbon foam with
slightly acidic residues let me explain a little bit about what just happened
the sulfuric acid is a dehydrating agent that means it wants water and sugar has
a lot of hydrogen and oxygen atoms in it so the sulfuric acid violently rips that
hydrogen oxygen away to satisfy its need for moisture that just leaves the
resulting carbon which bubbles up and turns into this frothy foam which very
quickly cools and turns into the hard black substance that we saw this makes
me wonder if we mixed up the concoction put it into a flask like these what’s
going to happen when the ash hits the neck of the bottle is the bottles going
to build pressure and explode is the ash going to reform itself and work its way
out of the channel normally is nothing going to happen at all the purpose of
this experiment is to find out I’m going to add a little bit more this
time so we get a full reaction you can see how the sulfuric acid starts out
relatively clear and then as it mixes with the sugar it starts to darken up
you know it’s interesting about this is I can’t get it all the way to the bottom
I think we’ve got about 60 seconds before the reaction takes place so we
want to get this mixed as much as possible before that happens the flasks
still feels relatively cool when it starts heating up I’ll know it’s time to
set it down and back away starting to warm up what’s going to happen is the
container going to explode here it goes oh my goodness oh wow it’s spewing ash out of the top
like a little sulfuric acid volcano look at all that steam and sulfur dioxide
coming off the top the reaction is still going but nothing else is coming out is
it is a container already empty I suppose
it is we’ll need to let that cool down for a minute where the stuff is pushing
out on the top like that it almost looks like one of those black firework snakes
if you light and just growth if this one is highly acidic I want to
get too close to that so the flasks did not explode but the reaction was a
little bit different than I was expecting as well it seems the carbon
sets up so quickly that by the time it hits the top the pressure breaks it into
chunks and spews out kind of like a volcano spitting ash I was really
impressed at how quickly that reaction took place once it got going once the
levels started rising the whole thing only took about 10 seconds before it was
over that is extremely hot this stuff down here
gooey and spongy but very brittle look at all these pieces of ash that clumped
off they look like little lava rocks but they’ve got the same weight as styrofoam
peanuts they’re extremely lightweight smells like sugar and chemicals it’s not
extremely pleasant but it’s not too bad either instant ash brought to you by the King
around for one final experiment today I want to try using a round flask to see
what kind of a difference if any that makes yeah it’s starting to get pretty goopy
they’re trying to mix it as best I can it’s starting to heat up here goes it’s
like a black bubbling potion of evil look at that spattering and spewing
everywhere oh gosh there’s a lot of pressure in there it’s spitting it out
and of building the top at the same time look at that weird okay that was unexpected kind of
looks like a t-rex like a skeleton t-rex it’s got a little arm sticking out there
his open mouth and head spine okay maybe t-rex is living a stretch but
does look really cool so what I saw happening when this reaction took place
is it did get clogged but the pressure just kept pushing out the carbon and it
started spewing chunks up to about four feet away and what was really
interesting is near the top little bits of carbon would start to collect and
form a little tube and it started building this chamber this black bridge
column that just continued one chunk after another it was amazing very
similar I imagined how volcanoes build themselves as well as the lava flows out
the chunks solidified the volcano grows bigger and that’s what we see happening
here it even kind of jetted off at a 45 degree angle but it looks really cool
very cool reaction I wasn’t actually expecting it to turn out that way but
I’m glad that it did interesting I love the randomness in this design
what’s amazing to me is there was actually like a column inside this neck
look at that you can see the cavity is completely filled up but there’s a
little hole there which I imagine where everything was spewing what’s amazing is
that was able to continue this far that’s a good eight inches if we break
this in half yeah you can see that hole continues right through it and if I keep
breaking this you can see that hole continues through the entire length of
that neck so we actually made a sulfuric carbon straw and it looks really cool
look at the texture to that awesome experiments guys let’s talk about what
just happened we started off with the classic experiment mixing sulfuric acid
with sugar but we did it with a little bit of a twist
rather than using sulfuric acid from a chemical lab we use sulfuric acid from
drain cleaner we found that when the two substances were mixed nothing really
apparent seemed to happen right away after that we found our container very
quickly warmed up and shot up a pillar of black carbon ash we saw that the big
black carbon column pushing up out of the glass looks a lot like those black
snake fireworks you see around the fourth of July and we found that this is
because sulfuric acid is a very strong dehydrating agent and sucks the moisture
out of the sugar leaving nothing but the black carbon residue
next we tried putting this mixture in an Erlenmeyer flask where the opening
constricts near the top to see if we get the container to explode but rather than
exploding we saw the pressure just push the carbon chunks up and out of the
container letting them flop down over the side for our final experiment we put
everything in a round bottom flask where even more pressure could build up but we
still didn’t get it to explode instead what we saw happened was chunks of
carbon would spew out up to 4 feet away and the ones that collected near the top
coagulated together and formed a long carbon tunnel which is something I
haven’t seen done before well there you have a guy’s great day of experimenting
and hopefully you learn something new thanks for joining me for this set of
experiments I’ll be looking for you the next video talk to you then it’s a quick
update guys some of that black ash flaked off and it’s sticking to my skin
and starting to burn I’m going to wipe that off and come back with my lab
jacket I’ll be right back it’s got a nice whiff of sulfuric acid it it’s kind
of a nice setting texture that’s interesting shiny carbon foam