Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Science
If one takes a cube of cane sugar and holds a lighted match or Bunsen burner to it, the sugar will not burn but will only melt and caramelize a little. If, however, a cube is touched to some cigarette ash and then held to a flame, the cube of sugar will burn with a sputtering blue flame and will continue to burn with a sputtering blue flame and will continue to burn even after the flame is pulled away until all of the ash has dripped off the cube. This is the basis for a little-known after-dinner trick demonstrating the catalytic effect that some materials have on sugar. The primary object of the present series of experiences was to add information about the catalytic combustion of sugar to the present knowledge for the eventual determination of the reaction mechanism.
Williams, John Allen, "The Thermal Decomposition of Sugar" (1962). Honors Theses. 2132.