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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Red and Green Burning Candy Cane

By December 2, 2013

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Would you like to make a burning red and green candy cane as a chem demo? This is a variation of the Dancing Gummi Bear Demonstration, except the gummi bear is replaced by a candy cane, which burns with a red and green flame.

Candy canes don't burn without some help, so you need a fuel. The traditional project uses potassium chlorate, but you could substitute lighter fluid or alcohol. For the red and green fire effect, you want to add colored fire chemicals to your candy cane. You can use a copper or borax salt for green and a strontium compound for red. In the home-chemistry version, I recommend using boric acid or borax for green and a bit of road flare (strontium compound) for red. Be sure to keep the two colors separate, since mixing them would cancel out the effect. Happy Holidays!

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