Chip Pan Fire

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This demonstration shows the dangers of adding water to a chip pan fire. A small quantity of cooking oil is heated in a nickel crucible over a Bunsen burner and then water is added to the oil, producing a dramatic fireball. The demonstration may be linked to combustion, fuels, fire safety in the home and rates of reaction. In the case of the latter, the fireball is an example of how increasing the exposed surface area of a fuel in air increases its burn rate. This resource was produced following National Science & Engineering Week 2013, during which teachers and technicians nominated their favourite demonstrations to be turned into video resources with accompanying written guides. This resource was funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

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