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Stop Motion of Einstein

Evolving Education

Episode 02: Homemade Extinguisher

Act 2 | Material Required | Einstein in his lab:

To make our fire extinguisher, we need 5 things.

  1. Vinegar
  2. Baking soda
  3. Matchbox
  4. Plastic bottle

Conducting the Experiment:

  • 1. Let there be light – We will use a matchstick to light the three candles. First Candle, Second candle and third candle. And blow the matchstick in style.
  • 2. Now grab the bottle and pour some vinegar into the bottle.
  • 3. Time for baking soda. We put 2 teaspoons of baking soda into the vinegar and quickly close the cap.
  • 4. Hold the bottle from the top. Fire extinguisher ready. Fire awayyyyy… Fire extinguished, mission accomplished.

Scientific Principle and Application

Question: One thing is clear that this fire extinguisher and this bottle both can stop a fire. But what’s inside them that stops a fire?

Yes, you got it. It’s Carbon Dioxide.

When we added baking soda and vinegar into the bottle, it caused a chemical change, which produced a new substance called Carbon Dioxide. But...

How does carbon dioxide stop a fire?

To answer this question, let’s look at a triangle. Not just any triangle but the fire triangle. A fire triangle shows us the 3 things that a fire needs to start; fuel, heat & and an oxidiser. (While Einstein points towards a triangle.

Number one – Fuel : a fuel can be any substance that can catch fire. It can be solid like wood or paper, or liquid like oil and petrol. Number two – Heat. We need a source of heat.In the case of our candle, it was the lit matchstick.

And finally – An oxidizer. Now you must be thinking what’s an oxidizer? An oxidizer is like that person who jumps into a fight between two people and adds fuel to the fire, quite literally. In case of our candle, the oxygen in the air was the oxidizer. So friends, now you know that a fire needs all 3 to burn. So to stop it, all you have to do is attack any one of these three. In case of our candle, we blocked the supply of oxygen. And to do this we called our friend, Carbon Dioxide.

So by attacking the supply of oxygen which is an oxidizer, Carbon Dioxide stops the fire. No wonder, so many fire extinguishers are made up of carbon dioxide. While both Carbon Dioxide and water are great at stopping fire .We must use and choose them carefully based on the type of fire, about which you can read more in the description box below. But hold on, before you go, I have a trick question for you – How does water breaks the fire triangle? Go on write your answer in the comment box below. Before you go, Don’t forget to share this video. We must stay safe together. Toodles!

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