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DemonstrationsChemical Reactions II › 5.8

Lecture Demonstrations

Chemical Reactions II: Oxidation/Reduction

5.8 Thermite Reaction Videos

Subjects: Oxidation/reduction, thermodynamics

Description: Video demonstrations of thermite reaction.


  • Laptop with internet connection
  • Overhead projector in lecture hall


Use the links below to show a thermite reaction. There are several amateur videos of the thermite reaction on the web and YouTube. The following are from other Universities.

-Purdue University Movie sheets:

-Lee Marek, University of Illinois at Chicago: With commentary. Forward to 1min25sec for demo.

-University of Oregon Chem Demos site:


The thermite reaction is so exothermic that it isn’t safe to perform in a classroom. In this reaction iron oxide is reduced by aluminum metal to produce iron metal and aluminum oxide. The reaction is given below.

Fe2O3(s) + 2Al(s) → 2Fe(l) + Al2O3(s)

So much energy is evolved as heat that the iron produced is molten. It spews from the reaction vessel and melts through it.

Safety: None.

Disposal: None.

References: None.

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