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How to mix parafin wax with chemicals

  1. Feb 13, 2007 #1
    I'm looking for a way to make a color flame candle . Are there any chemicals I can mix into paraffin wax to achieve these properties? The chemicals I'm looking for would be chemicals that don't cost very much and won't make the wax toxic when I'm burning it .
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2007 #2
    Various Metals burn with coloured flames but you would need to draw them up with the paraffin wax. Alternatively you could try putting them in the wick.

    Iron (Red I think, can't remember) and copper (Green) are probably the easiest to use. Pottasium burns Purple, magnesium bright white and I think Cobalt burns Blue.

    As to the long term effects of breathing in the combustion products I'm not sure. It will make the candles soot more though and that soot will deposit metal oxides on walls and ceilings that will be much harder to remove than carbon soot.
     
  4. Feb 13, 2007 #3
    Is there any way to mix chemicals into parafix wax instead of putting in the wick ?
     
  5. Feb 13, 2007 #4

    chemisttree

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    See post below
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007
  6. Feb 13, 2007 #5

    chemisttree

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    Opps! Sorry, the title of the OP confused me.

    Color flames are only possible with metals like copper (green), cadmium (brick red) and so forth. Organic chemicals would burn in the flame and not yield any unusual color. Heavy metals and transition metals have the most intense color. Many are toxic but some are not (like sodium).

    Search for "flame tests" to find out more about colors. Many colors require a higher temperature than is possible in a wax candle flame. A wax candle flame has too much hot soot (yellow) and would mask most colors except the brightest (sodium).
     
  7. Feb 14, 2007 #6

    chemisttree

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    You might try mixing a copper salt with a chelating compound like EDTA or Citric acid. The chelating compound might have to be modified to be more paraffin-like, however. For copper you might want to try an alphahydroxy carboxylic acid like citric. Copper salicylate might also work. Calcium stearate might give you a red color that mixes with paraffin.

    Stay away from anything containing nitrogen or sulfur. They will probably disperse the metal but will produce toxic byproducts.

    Try dipping a Coleman lantern sock into a solution of copper sulfate or calcium acetate and allow it to dry. Ignite it as usual and see if any colored flames are produced.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2007 #7
    Thank you for your advice . I will try .

    I used to try to mix a solution of copper salt with parafin wax ,
    but it can not be dissolved.

    I would like to know what kind of chemicals I should use in order to dissolve
    in parafin wax .

    For example , what kind of copper salt can be dissolved in parafin wax ? Is it Copper salicylate ? why ? and how could i know ?

    It would be kind , if someone guided me.
     
  9. Feb 15, 2007 #8

    chemisttree

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  10. Feb 22, 2009 #9
    Hi,
    I was reading through this because I have a similar issue. I am trying to make candles with color flames. There is a nice site that lists some minerals and salts that when added to a bonfire can make different colors http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/a/aa052703a.htm
    I created fully concentrated water solutions from several of the recommended chems such as Cupper Chloride and Copper Sulfate in which I soaked the wicks overnight. This produced some color when the wick was burned by itself, but as predicted in this forum the natural flame color of any added wax completely cancled any interesting colorings. Since salts do not dissolve in wax I tried grinding up the chems and mixing thoroughly and uniformly in the wax but this also did not produce any desired effects. All this has lead me to think I need to emulsify the wax and salts but I don't really know how to do this or where to begin even. Unless the chems can be dissovled in the wax I really don't think this will work. Can anyone give me a direction to look in please?
     
  11. May 11, 2009 #10
    Dear Pdotp,

    did you get the required answer or the way to make colour flame candles?
    if so pls share with me i am so interesting.

    that technology is sold at NIIR india but its around 1600 $. its unbearable for me.


    Thanks,

    Darshana
     
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