What You Need:
- Alcohol or fuel oil
- Baking soda
- Mix 4 parts powdered sugar with 1 part baking soda.
- Make a mound with the sand. Push a depression into the middle of the sand.
- Ask a parent to pour the alcohol or other fuel into the sand to wet it.
- Pour the sugar and soda mixture into the depression.
- Ask a parent to ignite the mound using a lighter or match. At first, you’ll get a flame and some small scattered blackened balls. Once the reaction gets going, the carbon dioxide will puff up the carbonate into the continuously extruded "snake”. Caution: Don’t add fuel to the burning snake.
What is the snake made of? The sugar and baking soda snake proceeds according to a series of chemical reactions, where sodium bicarbonate breaks down into sodium carbonate, water vapour and carbon dioxide gas while burning the sugar in oxygen produces water vapour and carbon dioxide gas. The snake is a carbonate with black carbon particles.