Burning Bismuth

A project exploring the melting rate of bismuth, comparing rates of melting.
Jack S
Grade 6


My hypothesis is that the stove will melt the bismuth faster because it has a larger surface area.


About the blowtorch - This is a MAPP gas blow torch. The hottest the blow torch can get with this fuel, is 2050 degrees celsius when on max power, and with oxygen assist. (sciencing 2018) A blowtorch creates a very hot flame, and harnesses that heat to mold and cut metal. It does this by using very combustible gases in the correct proportions, which means that it is also a dangerous tool. (how stuff works 2020)

About the stove -  Some natural gas stoves can reach 300 to 400  degrees celsius (chemistry stack exchange). A gas or electric pilot light on one side of the burner sends a small flame or spark to ignite the oxygen-gas mixture as it flows through the holes in the burner. By turning the knob to a higher heat setting, you increase the flow of gas and air, and the flame gets larger (fine cooking)

About bismuth - Bismuth is a basic element, which can not be broken down into a simpler element. Bismuth is found in Australia, Bolivia, Canada, England, Norway, and the U.S.A. (collecting rocks, gems, and minerals 3rd edition page 218, 2016). Bismuth can not conduct electricity unless at absolute zero (-273.15°C), bismuth then becomes a superconductor - a material that can conduct electricity without resistance (science alert 2016). Bismuth's melting temperature is 271.4 degrees celsius (live science).



Here are the variables-my manipulated is the heat source that is melting the bismuth while my responding variable is the speed in which the bismuth melts and the controlled variables are the pan, room temperature, the weight of bismuth, and the amount of light touching the bismuth.



  1. Collect supplies. 
  2. Pour bismuth into mold and create at least 7 pieces, (try to get weight as close as you can).
  3. Wait until bismuth and mold cools, then gently remove bismuth.
  4. Weigh, and label bismuth blocks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, (8, 9, 10, if needed or want) record this.
  5. Take three blocks of bismuth and set aside (preferably closest in weight).

    6.    Take one block of bismuth and place in the steel pan.

    7.    Put on gloves.

    8.    Turn on the blow torch. 

    9.    Point blow torch at bismuth. Start the timer immediately.

    10.  Evenly disperse heat on bismuth.

    11.  When bismuth is completely melted, turn off timer.

    12.  Record melting time of bismuth block.

    13.  Wait for pan to cool.

    14.  Repeat steps 6 through 13 with other two blocks you set aside.

    15.  After all three blocks are finished, place in baggy, and write the                    

           weight of blocks, number, control, blowtorch, or stove (depending    

           on which one it was) and melting time.

    16.  Take a different 3 blocks, (preferably closest in weight)

    17.  Place one block on steel pan.

    18.  Place steel pan on stove. 

    19.  Set stove to max, and immediately start timer.

    20.  When bismuth has completely melted, stop timer immediately. 

    21.  Record melting time. 

    22.  Wait for pan to cool.

    23.  Repeat steps 17 through 22 with other two blocks you set aside.

    24.  After all three blocks are finished, place in baggy, on baggy write  

           weight of block, number, control, blowtorch, or stove (depending on      

           which one it was) and melting time.

    25.  See results.



  1. The greater temperature of the torch was vastly superior to the heat sorce of the stove. 
  2. The way in wich the torch is positioned had an affect on melting rate.
  3. The liqued Bismuth was spraed apart by the air pressure of the torch, increasing surface area.
  4. some of the crystalization of the cooled Bismuth featured ninty degree angles.



The hypothesis “the stove will melt the bismuth faster because it has a larger surface area” was incorrect because the stove took almost 20 times longer than the blowtorch with the blowtorch only taking around 30 seconds and the stove coming in at almost 10 minutes. There were only 2 that should change for future experiments which would be using a non painted steel pan so the paint does not affect the melt time, and the other thing was more of a pattern with the blow torch so the melting times are even closer.


There are many practical applications of learning about the melting properties of bismuth. Industries such as aerospace, semi-conductor, and construction all use bismuth is various ways. In order to make the processing of bismuth the most efficient as possible, we need to know how best to manipulate the element. In this experiement, we aimed to find the most efficient way of changing bismuth from a solid to a liquid, which has applications for any industry using bismuth in their components. (Cale)

Sources Of Error

Use a non-painted steel pan so the paint does not affect the melt time, and the other thing was more of a pattern with the blow torch so the melting times are even closer. 


One of my neighbors Cale Hein, got me Bismuth for my birthday, that was what sparked the idea of using Bismuth, for my science fair project. After brainstorming many ideas of how to include bismuth we settled on - Burning Bismut, does bismuth melt faster on a stove or with a blowtorch? Cale also really encouraged me and helped me. So a special thanks to cale for being such an awsome science partner.

Ms.Thomas and Ms. lewis were both also a huge help with explaning things, being positive, and cheering me on. Many thanks to Ms.Thomas and Ms.lewis

My mom and dad both helped me very much for helping me spell chaeck give ideas and much more thank you.