Death of a Gummy Bear - Combustion in Action

Have you ever heard a gummy bear roar? It takes a little bit of chemistry, and it’s not pretty...

The thermal decomposition of potassium chlorate produces potassium chloride and oxygen, which is sufficient to ignite the Gummi bear. The heat produced continues to decompose the potassium chlorate resulting in a very rapid combustion reaction. For more about the chemistry of this reaction, check out this page from the University of Massachusetts.


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