The Secret to Releasing the Genie in the Bottle

The Genie in the Bottle experiment is a special effects secret used by the movie industry. It’s not really a secret, it’s science.

**This experiment is not intended to do at home. Your chemistry teacher is a great resource to demonstrate this reaction. The hydrogen peroxide used is 30% and can irritate the eyes and throat.

This experiment uses two compounds – hydrogen peroxide and manganese dioxide. The hydrogen peroxide is made up of water and oxygen (H2O2). The peroxide decomposes and releases the oxygen molecules as it breaks down. The manganese dioxide (MnO2) is used as a catalyst to tear apart the H2O2 molecules.

The secret to releasing the genie is to hang the manganese dioxide on a string above the hydrogen peroxide in a bottle. When the cork is pulled, the string drops into the liquid and starts the reaction. The reaction is gaseous oxygen propelling tiny water droplets which look like a genie escaping the bottle.

Heat is released during the reaction, making it an example of an exothermic reaction.

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