purple fire

I was at a campfire get together last night and somebody brought this package to throw on the fire. They had picked it up at a dollar store and it was a small envelope with the standard warnings of do not eat, do not open, and was filled with a granular like substance. I didnt open the package (of course) and so couldnt really say what it looked like. when you threw it on the fire it turned the flames blue green and purple. It lasted about 15 minutes and was a really neat effect. I am just wondering what chemicals could do that? I’d like to pick up more, but dont tend to trust things that turn fire purple, expecially when it comes from a dollar store.

Better living through chemistry. Various elements will color flame. As far as I recall, strontium will make it red and copper salts will make it green. It looks like it might have been potassium that gives you your purple.

As a cautionary note, I have no idea about the toxicity of the various compounds once they’ve burned. So you should probably stick with the commercial blend.