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A few years ago, I witnessed a demonstration where a Flask was continuously filled from an Oxygen Bottle (Welding System) at a low flow After it was filled with the Gas a steel spatula was lower down the neck of the flask. This spatula was half filled with what I believe where carbon or graphite granules. The spatula was tapped on the inside wall of the flask and small amounts of carbon would fall to the base of the flask When tapping the side of the glass and when falling to the base of the flask, they flashed and burnt. You could continue to do this until the spatula was empty. I have tried to replicate this but to no avail. Do you know the SECRET or am I missing something Maybe the carbon had an additive? Can you give an explanation so that I can replicate this test? I need it to show our artisans the hazards of working with Oxygen (Concentrated). Hope you can help. Regards
Question Date: 2016-02-03
Answer 1:

I am not familiar with this particular experiment, and a quick search didn't yield anything for me either. I don't think a special treatment would have been employed on the graphite (and that wouldn't be a very good demonstration in my mind, because it would be more a magic trick than a scientific demonstration), but I wonder if the graphite had been heated prior to introducing it to the flask. Maybe that would be enough to get it burning when it hits the flask. The other question of course is whether the standard demonstrations of the oxidation power of pure oxygen (compared to air) would work for your purpose? These are

1) introducing a long match or other piece of wood that was lit and then blown out so it is only glowing at the tip into the oxygen, which would make it light up and burn again.
2) introducing a lit cigarette into the oxygen, which should make it go up in flames
3) introducing glowing steel wool or wire into the oxygen, which should make this "burn" Obviously, you would want to try all these out before you use them as a demonstration, to make sure they work with your setup. And be safe.

Hope this helps,

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