Science (Explained) with Samantha: The Chemistry of Sparklers 

Meteorologist Sammy Jacques explains the chemical reaction behind the ‘4th of July’ firework favorite – sparklers. See how the chemistry comes together in this edition of Science with Samantha.Pexels Photo 285173

The Chemistry of Sparklers 

The Science 

There are four main things that come together to create a sparkler! That includes an oxidizer, a fuel, metal powder, and a combustible binder. All the chemicals come together using the binder and are molded on a stick. The metal powder, such as aluminum or iron, provide the shimmering sparks that you notice when the sparkler is ignited! This is because the metal heats up and shimmers off the stick. If there are multiple colors in your sparkler, there are most likely multiple types of metal! The fuel and oxidizers are balanced out to keep the perfect amount of burning so that the sparklers burn nice and slow for everyone to enjoy! Once all the fuel is burned up all that should be left is the stick! 


While the stick should not start on fire, you should always take extra precautions when using a sparkler! Don’t forget to have a bucket of water on standby to dip the sticks in after using them and then throw the sparklers away. Lastly, since there is metal being sparked off the stick these should never be used on food or cake.

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