You will need
- 1 Sharp knife
- Heat proof surface, for example a pan or a ceramic plate
- 1 Potato
- 1 Peanut
- 1 Almond
- 1 Walnut
- If you are allergic to nuts you can use sunflower and pumpkin seeds instead.
What to do
- Cut a potato into a long cylinder or a tall rectangular cube.
- Carefully cut a long thin strip from the peanut, almond and walnut.
- Stick 1 peanut strip into the top of the potato. The potato will hold the peanut while it is burning.
- Light the peanut strip with a match. Let it burn until it goes out.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with one almond and one walnut strip.
- Which nut burns longest? Which nut is easiest to light?
Nuts contain oil that can be lit to create a fire. The oil and the oxygen from the air undergo a chemical change during the fire turning them into carbon dioxide gas and steam. This type of reaction producing a fire is called “combustion”.
The nut that lights fastest and burns longest contains most oil. Which nut contained most oil?
You can watch a video of the experiment here: