Make a Test Tube Thunderstorm!

Posted: Aug 21, 2009

In this cool science experiment we make a thunderstorm in a test tube using alcohol, sulfuric acid and potassium permanganate. WARNING:This experiment is extremely dangerous as it involves corrosive acids and flammable liquids with a small, but not negligible, chance of a damaging explosion. Face shields, goggles, fire extinguishers and fire safety protocols must be present. This should only be attempted by an experienced chemist. Just get a test tube of 95% alcohol and carefully pipette a layer in a bottom of sulfuric acid. Then drop in some potassium permanganate crystals. The reaction of the permanganate and the sulfuric acid produce manganese heptoxide that explodes on contact with organic matter like the alcohol. This also works with acetone. Website: