We’re all pretty well acquainted with red glowing coals and the mesmerizing yellowish-amber color from flames in the fireplace, and if you really stare long enough you’ll even notice small glows of blue at the very “bottom” of the flame. But have you ever seen a green flame?
The green flame truly is a fascinating phenomenon. We get so used to the way things are around us, so seeing something in a whole new light—like a green flame when we’re used to yellow—is really exciting. Unless you’re a scientist, of course, then none of this is new to you!
The tools and ingredients:
- Borax, aka sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate (most commonly found in laundry boosters and other household cleaning products)
- Methyl alcohol, aka methanol (commonly used in anti-freeze)
- Fire-proof bowl
- Long matches
So How Does it Work?
When the methanol from the Heet anti-freeze is mixed with the borax from the 20 Mule Team Borax, it creates trimethyl borate. This compound is a colorless liquid that when burned, gives off that distinctive neon green color.
There’s no way I can encourage anyone to do this without some very important safety warnings. This should go without saying, but when playing with fire, do so safely outside. This is a situation where caution definitely shouldn’t be thrown to the wind.
Furthermore, methanol can be very dangerous, so don’t let it come into contact with your skin, don’t inhale it, and for the love of everything you hold dear, don’t drink it.
Throwing a lit match in the mixture won’t give you the full effect, because the match itself will still burn in a yellow-y color. Use a long match so that you can just touch the mixture and then retrieve the match – a regular lighter or normal-sized match will put your hand in too close proximity.
Tutorial video by TrollFaceTheMan Youtuber.