What? That sounds insane, but remember there is a load of crazy stuff in science that we can learn and enjoy from. I do not mean burning your money is fun, neither I would give in to the challenge if I am not confident I could actually have it back in exactly the same condition as it should be. You can practice this using ordinary white paper or filter paper cut into note-like sizes, that is to build up your confidence that it truly works. So, have fun and burn your money away.
Burning money is intended for demonstration purposes to simply stimulate students’ interest towards the topic COMBUSTION. It is expected that you will observe the necessary safety precautions in doing this although there are no reported cases of accidents related to it so far. (I don’t want you to be the first!).
3 x 400ml beaker
paper/filter paper or real note
pair of tongs
ethanol (This is flammable, so be careful)
sodium chloride (common salt)
- Cut out three absorbent paper/filter paper into desired size
- Prepare the three beakers with labels B1, B2, and B3.
- Put 100 ml of water in B1.
- Put 100 ml of ethanol in B2.
- Put a mixture of 50ml water and 50ml ethanol in B3. Add about 3g of salt and stir slowly until dissolved.
- Prepare the Bunsen burner and put it on the heat mat. Before you light it, make sure it is at a safer distance from the 3 beakers.
- Using the tongs, soak one piece of filter paper in B1 and allow it to drain. Burn it by moving unto the yellow flame of the burner for few seconds. Expectedly, it does not burn because it’s wet.
- Try another piece of filter paper and soak it into B2 and allow to drain. It will surely burn easily because of the ethanol.
- Finally, do the same procedure above to the third piece of filter paper but soak it into B3. This time the alcohol ignites and you will notice it burning, however the paper does not burn away because the paper will still be wet with water but the alcohol has burnt away.
- If you are confident enough, try it with a real money. Have fun.