Chemistry KS3/4: Experiments with fire

Dr Peter Wothers explores the properties of fire with three students at his laboratory in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry.

The team begin by igniting a balloon filled with propane, to visually explore what happens during combustion.

Next, they examine what makes up a flame, and measure the temperature of different parts a Bunsen flame.

Finally, they mix different ratios of propane and oxygen in balloons, before igniting them and measuring which ratio produces the loudest bang.

Teacher Notes

Students can be challenged to describe and explain the products of combustion and how it is important when burning fuels to get the correct ratio of fuel to oxygen.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Chemistry.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, KS3, KS4 and GCSE in England and Wales.

More from the series The alchemist's apprentice

Experiments with air
Experiments with rock
Experiments with water