Green Fire Projects

Make Green Fire or Flames

What could be cooler than green fire? Answer: probably nothing! This is a collection of projects that involve green fire or flames.

Green fire is easy to make and doesn't require any hard-to-find chemicals.
Green fire is easy to make and doesn't require any hard-to-find chemicals. Anne Helmenstine

This is my original green fire tutorial. These flames are bright apple green, simple to produce and long-lasting.

Green Fire Video Tutorial

Dr. Helmenstine demonstrates how easy it is to make green fire using boric acid.
Dr. Helmenstine demonstrates how easy it is to make green fire using boric acid. Boron has a characteristic green emission spectrum. Anne Helmenstine

If you prefer to be shown exactly what to do, I've got you covered. Here is a video tutorial for making green fire.

These green flames are produced by the emission of excited copper ions.
These green flames are produced by the emission of excited copper ions when copper sulfate is added to burning alcohol. Anne Helmenstine

I usually use borax or boric acid to make green fire, since it is inexpensive and readily available in many places as a disinfectant powder or roach killer. However, copper ions also emit green light. This is another super easy way to make green fire. If you use copper sulfate with a gel fuel, you can get a green flame that lasts for several hours.

This jack-o-lantern is lit from within by green fire.
This jack-o-lantern is lit from within by green fire. Anne Helmenstine

Green fire is a nice effect all on its own, but it also makes for a cool Halloween jack-o-lantern. The effect is eye-catching, don't you think?

It's easy to make your own fire tornado or fire whirl.
It's easy to make your own fire tornado or fire whirl. Add a bit of boric acid, borax or copper sulfate to turn the flames vivid green. Anne Helmenstine

This is a tabletop fire project that shows how tornadoes and fire whirlwinds form, except I colored the fire green! Of course, you could make the fire any color you like.

Walt changes the colors of a flame by spraying it with chemicals.
In the "Breaking Bad" pilot episoode, Walt sprays a bunsen burner flame with chemicals from a spray bottle and turns the flame different colors. AMC

Spritz a chemical into a burner flame to produce colored fire! Yes, you could do this just for fun, but the most common use of this project is as a chemistry demonstration, to capture student attention and to explain excitation spectra.

All it takes to make a pinecone burn with a green flame is to sprinkle a little boric acid onto it.
All it takes to make a pinecone burn with a green flame is to sprinkle a little boric acid onto it. Anne Helmenstine
Just about anything flammable can be made to burn with a green flame. This includes pinecones, which you can burn on their own or add to a campfire or fireplace for a festive touch.