Bizarre: Fire Water [Video]
watch as Potassium, Diethyl Ether and Water – part of our “Berzelius Day”
NOTE FROM THE PROFESSOR: This reaction is the same as that of K with water, 2K + 2H2O → 2KOH + H2. The difference is that diethyl ether floats on the surface of the water (it’s less dense) and it has a very low boiling point so it’s vapour easily catches fire to form CO2 and more H2O. Once it’s burning, some of the K is vapourized and gives the flame a lilac colour.