Learn about the dangers of grain elevators and observe the combustion of lycopodium powder with this resource adapted from the Journal of Chemical Education. The demonstrator places fine particles of lycopodium powder into a funnel inside a container that also holds a lit candle. Air is forced through the funnel, causing the powder to disperse within the container, and then resulting in an explosive chemical reaction. This demonstration illustrates the hazard of dust explosions—specifically, how a material that is not generally flammable suddenly becomes combustible when its surface area is increased.
This media asset was adapted from Chemistry Comes Alive! by the Journal of Chemical Education.