Barking dog reaction

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Video of a barking dog reaction by Maxim Bilovitskiy.

The "Barking Dog" is an exothermic chemical reaction that results from the ignition of a mixture of carbon disulfide and nitrous oxide.[1] When ignited in a cylindrical tube, the reaction produces a bright flash and a loud "woof" - reminiscent of a barking dog.

In simple terms, the ‘Barking Dog’ reaction is a combustion process, in which a fuel (carbon disulfide, CS2) reacts with an oxidizing agent (nitrous oxide, N2O), producing heat and elemental sulfur. The flame front in the reaction is a zone of very hot, luminous gas, produced by the reactants decomposing.

8 N2O + 4 CS2 → S8 + 4 CO2 + 8 N2

In April 1853, Justus von Liebig performed the demonstration before the Bavarian royal family; however, the glass container shattered, and shards of glass inflicted minor injuries on the faces of Queen Therese, her son Prince Luitpold, and Liebig himself.[2][3]


  1. ^ Seabourne, Ché Royce; Maxwell, George; Wallace, James (2006). "Taming the Barking Dog". Journal of Chemical Education. 83 (5): 751. doi:10.1021/ed083p751. 
  2. ^ Brock, William H. (1997). Justus Von Liebig: The Chemical Gatekeeper. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 111. 
  3. ^ Volhard, Jakob (1909). Justus von Liebig, vol. 2 (in German). Liebig, Germany: Johann Ambrosius Barth. pp. 349–350. 

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