National Bunsen Burner Day

National Bunsen Burner Day

We all have an image of a laboratory. The white coat, safety glasses, and gleaming glass vessel are all part of that familiar image. A spear of blue-flame rises from the burner. This is the same image that has been used in every chemistry lab. This burner is more important than the roaring blue flame might make it appear. It’s the Bunsen Burner, which Robert Bunsen invented. National Bunsen Burner Day celebrates its history and honors the man who created it.

In 1854, the Bunsen Burner was created out of a need for a hotter, cleaner flame that could be used in laboratory experimentation. The University of Heidelberg had already hired Robert Bunsen in 1852 and promised to build him a new laboratory building. It would include the latest technological marvel, the coal-gas streetlights, which the city had just started to install. The burners currently used in chemistry labs weren’t sufficient for the job. This left the beakers sooty and without the heat control needed to conduct many experiments. They were expensive to operate and unnecessarily complex.

Robert Bunsen and Peter Desaga came up with some principles on which a new burner should work. Peter Desaga quickly applied those principles to a new laboratory burner design and created a device that produced a hot, smokeless flame with the added benefit of producing very little or no light during its burning. The Bunsen Burner was thus born. It was so successful at fulfilling its intended purpose that laboratories all over the globe have used it ever since.

The National Bunsen Burner Day can be celebrated by laymen who research the life and contributions of Robert Bunsen to the world. Start by researching the Bunsen Burner’s design and how it revolutionized laboratory experimentation. You can encourage students and teachers to celebrate this day with demonstrations and practical experiments using the Bunsen Burner.


Mar 01 - 31 2025


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