All Gases

These following five gases are the easiest to make and handle. Suitable for high school science and up. Some teachers use them at the middle school level. The experiments described cover all levels from suitable for middle schoolers up through chemistry majors studying the kinetic isotope effect in a course on descriptive inorganic chemistry. There are numerous experiments for all levels.

Carbon dioxide, CO2
Hydrogen, H2
Oxygen, O2
Ethyne (acetylene), C2H2

Nitrogen, N2

The following five gases are also easy to make but require more skill to handle. Suitable for high school chemistry and up. These gases are toxic. Follow instructions carefully.  Many of the experiments described make excellent classroom demonstrations (such as the ammonia fountain shown at right).

Ammonia, NH3
Sulfur dioxide, SO2
Nitrogen monoxide (nitric oxide) and
nitrogen dioxide, NO and NO2
Chlorine, Cl2

Ozone can be generated at a rate of 800 nanomoles/min using our easy-to-build microscale ozone generator. Lots of interesting experiments! Build your own! It can be stored on the shelf from year to year.

Ozone, O3

These five gases are not quite as simple to make.  They cannot be made in a syringe at room temperature.  Instead, a new technique (actually a 200-yr old technique) is used in which two chemicals are heated in a test tube while collecting the gas produced in a syringe. These do make great labs for better/advanced students working in pairs. The experiments with the gases are quite interesting and worth the effort! Some great demonstrations available for each gas!

Ethene (ethylene), C2H4
Carbon monoxide, CO
Hydrogen chloride, HCl
Methane, CH4
Dinitrogen monoxide (nitrous oxide), N2O

These two gases pose special problems and should be done by teachers and chemists with experience with gas manipulation using syringes. These make good classroom demonstrations or labs for college-level chemistry majors (such as descriptive inorganic chemistry).  These gases should only be made in a working fume hood in a university chemistry laboratory.

Silane, SiH4
Hydrogen sulfide, H2S

ammonia fountain


Underwater fire!