When I was 15, I dropped into a lab in a big city hospital.. The fellow there was doing illegal isotope experiments there... He took me under his wing to teach me some of the strange chemistry things he new... The one that still puzzles me today is his silly little acid/alcohol/p. permanganate in a test tube thing... He took a thick walled test tube, and gently added two inches of conc. sulphuric acid... He carefully floated two inches of ethyl alcohol on the acid... He dropped half a gram of crystals of potassium permanganate into the mix, set a loose ball of cotton in the mouth of the tube to prevent splash, and a safety-glass shield between us and the tube.. and waited... The salt dropped to the bottom of the tube.. and the crystals released a few bubbles for a minute.. then crystals, attached to bubbles, rose to the seam of the liquids layer, and detonated one by one when the new compound contacted the alcohol... The reaction continued for approx. five minutes... The odor the tube gave off was delightful... Questions: What are the chemical properties of that scent..? I figure it is partly due to burned hydrocarbons, plus something..? What compound is created to make the p. permanganate detonate in ethyl..? What is the resultant brown p. compound in the alcohol..? Umm..? Umm..? Umm..? "potassium brownate..?