In this demonstratioon, you dip a piece of paper into some ethanol and burn it.
You then can claim to be feeling lucky and are going to try it again. This time you dip it into a 50:50 mix of ethanol and water.The water in the alcohol-water mixture evaporates and keeps the temperature below the ignition temperature of paper (approximately 230 °C. The paper will still be wet with water after the alcohol has burned away. Sodium chloride gives the flame the characteristic orange colour of sodium, which looks like a normal yellow flame.
The original version of this experiment suggests using a £5 note. But this dates back to the days of paper bank notes – modern, polymer notes will be destroyed.
Try Monopoly money or print out a ‘fake’ bank note instead.
Burning £5 Note
Burning £5 Note – Risk Assessment