A short investigation of the use of pumpkin seed extracts in peroxyoxalate chemiluminescence demonstrations

In recent years, the fluorescence properties of pumpkin seeds have been highlighted on social media. When illuminated with a UV lamp, pumpkin seed extract appears orange/red to the human eye due to fluorescence associated with protochlorophyllide that is present in the seeds. Chlorophyll extracts can also be used as a fluorescent dye in “glowstick” chemiluminescence experiments. The similarities between chlorophylls and protochlorophyllide raised the question, is it possible to use pumpkin seed extract as a fluorescent dye in chemiluminescence experiments? In this short article, some results are reported from attempts to use pumpkin seed extracts for chemiluminescence experiments. 

A General Method to Prepare Halogen-Free Oxalate Diesters for Peroxyoxalate Chemiluminescence Demonstrations

Chemiluminescence demonstrations that use peroxyoxalate “glowstick” systems are very popular in a variety of lecture demonstrations and classroom activities. These reactions are very eye catching and easy to do; however, until recently, the range of oxalate diesters available has been limited. In this article we present a modification of the published procedures for the preparation of multigram quantities of oxalate diesters derived from vanillin and methyl salicylate. The modified protocol allows a common procedure to be followed to access both compounds efficiently.

DIY Vapor Catalyzed Chemiluminescence

I recently watched a video in which a chemist (who goes by the nickname “NurdRage”) activated a chemiluminescent reaction by vapor deposition. I wanted to try it out for myself! Unfortunately, oxalyl chloride is toxic, corrosive, and a lachrymator. Thus, the experiment conducted by NurdRage needs to be conducted in a hood, and it is not particularly amenable to simple presentations. I began to wonder how I could create this vapor activated chemiluminescence using simple materials.