Methane Mamba Tower of Bubbles

Do not try this experiment at home. This experiment is done by firefighters to demonstrate the movement of flammable gases that are lighter than air.

There are 13 gases that are lighter than air and rise. The rest of the gases sit low or fall. Methane gas rises and is sometimes present during a fire. The Methane Mamba demonstrates the density of a gas, which is lighter than air. Filling soapy bubbles with methane gas will cause them to rise in a column and float.

On this experiment, Becky was given special instructions to wear fire retardant clothes and go light on the hair spray. The experiment is also a demonstration in how water can protect from burns. Becky placed her hands in soapy water before helping me with the demonstration. The water evaporated first, protecting Becky’s hands from the flames.

That didn’t stop her from still being very nervous about a flame in her hand. At one point, I thought she was going to hyperventilate on me.

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