Aladdin's magic lamp

If one rubs the magic lamp the genie will come out.

Magic lamp (Fig. 1), thin paper, scissors, small plastic spoon, 50 ml measuring cylinder, protective gloves (latex).

Conc. hydrogen peroxide (30 mL, 36 %), small spoon MnO2.


  • With a measuring cylinder, measure 30 mL of hydrogen peroxide and place it in the magic lamp.
  • Cut small piece of thin paper (~5 cm x 5cm).
  • Put on it a small spoon of MnO2 (Fig. 2).Wrap it and stuck it with the lid of the lamp.
  • The lamp is ready for demonstration.
  • Before you start demonstrating the experiment, ask for attention.
  • Announce that you will release the genie.
  • Rub the lamp and discreetly lift the lid to release the wrapped MnO2 to get in contact with the hydrogen peroxide.
  • Observe the reaction.
  • At the end of the experiment the lamp is hot. Wait for some time to cool down or use something to protect your fingers.
  • The waste contains MnO2. You should collect it with the heavy metal waste or you can separate it with filtration, wash it, dry it and you can reuse it.

Fig. 1. Magic lamp


Fig. 2. MnO2

Observation and Discussion

The visual effect of genie (Fig. 3) appearance is due to highly exothermic reaction of catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide

2H2O2(l) → 2H2O(g) + O2(g)

that produces oxygen and more important for the effect: water steam.
The catalyst of this reaction is MnO2.

Safety Tips
Avoid contact with conc. hydrogen peroxide by using protective gloves. It is strong oxidizing agent and makes white stains on the skin and clothing. Collect the waste with MnO2 or much better reuse it as it is described above.


Fig. 3. The visual effect of genie