10A10.10 - Ammonium Dichromate Volcano

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Ammonium Dichromate Volcano
Oxidation - Reduction
Area of Study:
Chemistry, Electricity
Ammonium Dichromate, Thermal Insulating Plate, Aluminum Plates, Matches, Bunsen Burner, Insulated Gloves, Furnace Filter Material, Aluminum Base Plate, 8 Inch Plexiglas Tube or Large Plexiglas Box, Mesh Screen with Furnace Filter, and Video Camera.

Directions for the Ammonium Dichromate Volcano can be found in the files or the hardcopy 10A10.10 entry.

The reaction is:
(NH4)2 Cr2O7----------> N2(gas) + Cr2O3 + 4H2O
           +6                                       +3

  • Alex Lopatka, "Flows of Volcanic Rock and Gas Ride a Carpet of Air", Physics Today, Vol. 72, #6, June 2019, p. 19.
  • Rachel Berkowitz, "Continetal Rift Exposes Mantle Melting at Work", Physics Today, Vol. 70, #9, Sept. 2017, p. 23.
  • Toni Feder, "Volcano Research Flows from North Korea", Physics Today, Vol. 69, #2, Feb 2016, p. 20.
  • "High-Speed Imaging of Volcanic Eruptions", Physics Today, Vol. 68, #10, Oct. 2015, p. 84.
  • Sung Chang, "A Surprise Eruption's Decade-Long Buildup", Physics Today, Vol. 68, #10, Oct. 2015, p. 19.
  • R. Mark Wilson, "Modeling a Volcano's Hum", Physics Today, Vol. 66, #9, Sept. 2013, p. 17.
  • Giulio Saracino and Cristina Cârloganu, "Looking at Volcanoes with Cosmic-Ray Muons", Physics Today, Vol. 65, #12, Dec. 2012, p. 60.
  • R. Mark Wilson, "Catching a Submarine Volcano in the Act", Physics Today, Vol. 65, #8, Aug. 2012, p. 16.
  • Bertram Schwarzschild, "The Triggering and Persistence of the Little Ice Age", Physics Today, Vol. 65, #4, Apr. 2012, p. 15.
  • Eugene Humphreys and Brandon Schmandt, "Looking for Mantle Plumes", Physics Today, Vol. 64, #8, Aug. 2011, p. 34.
  • John Dvorak, "The Origin of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory", Physics Today, Vol. 64. #5, May 2011, p. 32.
  • Charles Day, "Convection Homogenizes Magma Intrusions", Physics Today, Vol. 64. #5, May 2011, p. 17.
  • Johanna Miller, "Two Models Combined Can Forecast Lava Flow Accurately and Promptly", Physics Today, Vol. 61, #11, Nov. 2008, p. 18.
  • Johanna Miller, "Stromboli Volcano's Explosions Have Deep Origins", Physics Today, Vol. 60, #9, Sept. 2007, p. 20.
  • David P. Hill, Fred Pollitz, and Christopher Newhall, "Earthquake-Volcano Interactions", Physics Today, Vol. 55, #11, Nov. 2002, p. 41.
  • Theodore Gray, "Gray Matter: Easy DIY Gunpowder", Popular Science, Vol. 283, #9, Sept. 2011, p. 74.
  • Stuart Fox, "Volcano Light Show", Popular Science, Vol. 280, #8, Aug. 2008, p. 10.
  • Michael Behar, "When Earth Attacks!", Popular Science, Vol. 277, #5, May 2005, p. 46.
  • Emily Mason, Marie Edmonds, and Alexandra V. Turchyn, "Remobilization of Crustal Carbon May Dominate Volcanic Arc Emissions", Science, Vol. 357, #6348, July 2017, p. 290.
  • Richard A. Kerr, "Mega-Eruptions Drove the Mother of Mass Extinctions", Science, Vol. 342, #6165, Dec. 2013, p. 1424.
  • Tik Liem, "15.8. Simulate a Volcano Eruption", Investigation to Science Inquiry, p. 404.
  • "Volcanoes", Uncle John's Bathroom Reader for Kids - Did You Know?, Bathroom Readers' Institute, p. 47.
  • Brenda Walpole, "Underwater Volcano", 175 Science  Experiments to Amuse and Amaze Your Friends, p. 22.
  • G. Harry Stine, "Cap the Volcanoes!", Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Magazine, p. 134 - 137.
  • Janice VanCleave, "36. Erupting Volcano", Chemistry for Every Kid - 101 Experiments That Really Work, p. 76 - 77.
  • Janice VanCleave, "28. Magma Flow", Guide to More of the Best Science Fair Projects, p. 92 - 93.
  • Janice VanCleave, "27. Riser", Guide to More of the Best Science Fair Projects, p. 90 - 91.
  • Julie Snider, Lori Grisham, and Janet Loehrke, "35 Years Since Mount St. Helens' Eruption", USA Today, Sunday, May 17, 2015, p. 5B.
  • Guinness Book of World Records, "Largest Active Volcano", 2003, p. 76.
  • Guinness Book of World Records, "Largest Volcano Crater", 2003, p. 76.
  • Guinness Book of World Records, "Loudest Noise", 2003, p. 76.
  • Roland Pease, "Ship Spies Newborn Underwater Volcano", Science, Vol. 364, May 24, 2019, p. 720
  • C. A. Neal et al, "The 2018 Rift Eruption and Summit Collapse of Kilauea Volcano", Science, Vol. 363, p. 367
  • Euan J. F. Mutch, John Maclennan, Tim J. B. Holland, and Iris Buisman, "Millenial Storage of Near-Moho Magma", Science, Vol. 365, #6450, July 2019, p. 260-264.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.