DIY volcanoes with ammonium dichromate

One of the saddest things about the way chemistry teaching has progressed is the way experiments have been made safer and safer. In our after school chemistry club I once did an experiment using hydrogen cyanide as an ingredient - somehow I can't see it being employed today. And the modern idea of a chemical volcano is the impressively bubbly but totally un-volcano like result of combining sodium bicarbonate and vinegar.

But back in the day we could produce much more impressive volcanoes that threw out sparks and sent ash flowing, as you will discover in my latest Royal Society of Chemistry podcast.

To find out more about ammonium dichromate, take a listen by clicking play on the bar at the top of the page - or if that doesn't work for you, pop over to its page on the RSC site.

And in case you'd like to see it action (though the real thing is better):