Many of us enjoyed watching spectacular fireworks displays to usher in the new year. However, the vibrant colours of fireworks belie the effects that they can have on the environment. With this graphic, we take a look at some of the issues that they can cause.
With the 5th of November approaching, the distant reports of early fireworks displays can already be heard in the evenings here in the UK. Discussion on the chemistry of fireworks usually centres on the compounds used to generate their array of colours, but there’s a whole lot of chemistry behind the sounds they make too. Here […]
With the Fourth of July and American Independence Day on the horizon, a somehow topical post seemed in order. Having already examined the chemical compounds that give fireworks their colours in a previous graphic, I decided to examine another important firework component here: the first chemical explosive, gunpowder, also commonly referred to as black powder.
The colours in fireworks stem from a wide variety of metal compounds – particularly metal salts. ‘Salt’ as a word conjures up images of the normal table salt you probably use every day; whilst this is one type of salt (sodium chloride), in chemistry ‘salt’ refers to any compound that contains metal and non-metal atoms ionically […]