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Glow Sticks By: Danielle Mahon, Helen Seto & Dayne Adams • There is two chemicals in a glow stick, hydrogen peroxide, and diphenyl oxalate, plus a fluorescent dye. The chemicals encased in the plastic tube are the dye and the phenyl oxalate compound, while hydrogen peroxide sits in the glass vial. • When the vial is broken, the chemicals mix and a reaction takes place. The phenol oxalate becomes oxidized, breaking up into two molecules of phenol and one of a peroxyacid ester. • The peroxyacid decomposes quickly into C02 gas, exciting the dye that once relaxed, releases a photon of light. Diphenyl Oxalate & Fluorescent Dye Peroxyacid Ester Two molecules of Phenol Hydrogen Peroxide Peroxyacid Ester • The Dangers of glow stick is in the hydrogen peroxide and phenol (produced by a by-product). Phenol is toxic and can cause irritation when in contact with skin. Other side effects include swelling, burning, and in some extreme cases, nausea and vomiting. It’s advise to prevent ingestion of the substance. Bibliography •“Glow Products." Glow Products. 18 May 2009 <http://glow- products.glowsticksshop.com/>. •Helmenstine, Anne Marie, and Ph.D.. "Fluorescence Definition - Chemistry Glossary Definition of Fluorescence." Chemistry - Periodic Table, Chemistry Projects, and Chemistry Homework Help. 18 May 2009 <http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryglossary/a/fluorescencedef.htm>. •"How Do Glow sticks Work." Alfred University Physical Sciences. 18 May 2009 <http://merlin.alfred.edu/muller/FormerPhysWorld/PhysWorld01/Mar14/GlowStic ks.html>. •"What are Glow Sticks?." wiseGEEK: clear answers for common questions. 18 May 2009 <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-glow-sticks.htm>.
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