Chemistry of the Belousov-Zhabotinskii Reaction

  • John J. Tyson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 10)


Oscillations in the Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction are easily produced. A convenient recipe is given by Field (1972). Ingredients:

initial concentrations


1M H2SO4


0.175 g


0.002 M

4.292 g


0.28 M

1.415 g


0.063 M

In a beaker equipped with stirring apparatus, dissolve malonic acid and cerium ammonium nitrate in sulphuric acid. Solution will first be yellow, then, after a few minutes, turn clear. When clear, add sodium bromate. Solution will turn yellow, then clear...then yellow, then clear..., oscillating with a period on the order of one minute, depending on the rate of stirring among other things. A more dramatic color change, between red and blue, can be produced by adding a few mls of 0.025M Ferroin (1,10 phenanthroline iron). All of these chemicals are readily available.


Ammonium Nitrate Malonic Acid Cerium Ammonium Nitrate Cerium Ammonium Oxygen Atom Transfer 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Tyson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsState University of New York at BuffaloAmherstUSA

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