Chemistry in Fireworks

By: Larissa Oachs

What chemical reactions are involved in fireworks?

These chemical reactions propel them into the sky and burst them into different shapes. Aluminum, Antimony, Barium, Calcium , Carbon, Chlorine, Copper, Iron, Lithium, Magnesium, Oxygen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Sulfur, Strontium,Titanium, Zinc.

Where do we find the reactants?

Copper is found in mines in many places of the world.

Chlorine is found in Sweden.

Carbon is found in nature.

Aluminum is in the earths crust and is not found in nature.

Iron is found in soil, water and the sun.

Sodium is found in nature.

Zinc is mined throughout the world.

What happens to the products/byproducts of fireworks?

The aftermath of fireworks is smoke, smell and ashes that fall from the sky after the burst in the air. Most of it is burnt up.

What are the environmental impacts?

The elements are mined out of the ground which damages the area around the mines. The aftermath of the fireworks bursting scare the animals away from the area that they live in. They can start fires which can cause damage to the environment.

Are reactions endo- or exothermic?

They are exothermic because they give off heat and energy.

Who is affected by fireworks?

Everyone is affected by fireworks because they are used to celebrate holidays and special events. It gives them joy and excitement.

How essential is the chemistry for fireworks?

It is very essential because if you mix the wrong elements together you can create a negative reaction. Its also essential because its used to make the shapes and colors in the sky and how high in the sky they go.

Interesting Facts

  1. At first fireworks were only orange and white. In the Middle Ages new colors were added by using different salts. The hardest color to create is blue.
  2. Sparklers burn at a temperature over 15 times the boiling point of water.
  3. The record for the largest firework was of 66,326 fireworks and was in Portugal in 2006.
  4. Fireworks are most commonly used on 4th of July.
  5. Half of all firework accidents happen to children under the age of 16.