Coloured Fire - The Effect of Household Salts on the Colour of Fire
Logan Huttunen, Carson Bawa
West Point Grey Academy
Floor Location : J 228 D

Our experiment is about changing the colour of fire with common household salts. We know that as substances absorb energy, electrons can get excited, and go to higher orbitals. As the electrons return to their original orbitals, they will release photons of light that can be seen as colour in the visible spectrum. Our experiment is a qualitative analysis. Our hypothesis is if we add different metal salts to a methanol fire, then we will observe changes to the colour of the flame. Our independent variable is the various household chemicals we tested: table salt, salt substitute, borax, epsom salt, and baking soda. The dependent variable is the colour of the flame that we observed and recorded in photos. We carried out the experiment by mixing 1.5 tsp of household chemical with 1 tsp of methanol and igniting it. We took photos every 5 seconds to document the various flames. Our results showed that all of the household salts changed the colour of the flame: table salt - yellow flame, baking soda - orange flame, borax - green flame, epsom salt - light blue flame, no-salt - orange/purple flame, methanol control - blue flame. In conclusion, we were able to demonstrate that common household substances can change the colour of fire.