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Oxidation of acetone at a copper surface

I have been busy and I have done the experiment where acetone vapour is exposed to hot copper, after trying the experiment out in normal daylight I turned out the light and did it again for your enjoyment. Please get out the popcorn, sit back and enjoy the film.

OK you have seen the film, I sincerely hope that you have not spilled ice cream on your chemistry notes. Now we need to consider the chemistry behind the light show. We need to understand that the catyslst is not magic, it can be understood with modern chemistry.

The most likely mode of action will be for the cataylst to react with oxygen to give a copper oxide coating on the copper in the form of oxygen atoms bonded to the copper surface. The acetone then reacts with the copper oxide to form water and carbon dioxide and to reform the copper metal.

Disclaimer, while Dr Mark Foreman takes all reasonable care to comment on interesting chemistry and create safe and enjoyable experiments I accept no responsibility for any death, injury, disease, property damage, prosecution, criminal court case, tort, civil court case or other adverse outcome resulting from you trying out an experiment of mine or using any information I provide. All experiments are done at your own risk. If you are not an adult you must consult your parents and/or science teacher before trying an experiment. If you are doubt about your ability to do the experiment in a safe manner then do not attempt it. Also I accept no responsibility if your mum/dad/teacher/policeman/(insert some other authority figure) tells you off for doing the experiment. Also I am not responsible for your moral, social and spiritual wellbeing. Also if you hate the experiment and do not enjoy it or are left with an intense feeling of self disgust then again I am not responsible. If you read this disclaimer or anything else I write and have some adverse reaction to my words such as going insane, laughing yourself to death, pushing your blood pressure through the roof or some other effect then again I accept no responsibility. Also if you use information in my blog to answer an exam question then I offer no warranty to how good the information is. If you take material from my blog and try to pass it off as your own when you hand in your home work then I take no responsibility for you or offer any sympathy when your teacher tells you off (I hope that the teacher is reading this blog also)

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