Aluminothermy is reaction where aluminum reduces less active compounds of metals (mostly metal oxides) to metals.
It is really dangerous to use match for igniting an aluminothermic mixture, also, this kind of ignition attempt is not always succesful.
1) Reaction of iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3) and aluminum powder, formation of iron and aluminium oxide (Al2O3):
2Al(s) + Fe2O3(s) → 2Fe(s) + Al2O3(s)
2) In the second experiment, so called time-delay fuse (see experiment: ”Time fuse“) was used, where some drops of glycerol (C3H5(OH)3) were added to a solid potassium permanganaate (KMnO4):
14KMnO4(s) + 3C3H5(OH)3(l) → 7K2CO3 (s) + 14MnO2 (s) + 2CO2(g) + 12H2O(g)
This kind of mixture will self-ignite after 20–60 seconds and it also ignites the aluminothermy reaction (mixture).
3) Reaction of lead(II, IV) oxide (Pb3O4) and aluminum powder:
8Al(s) + 3Pb3O4(s) → 9Pb(s) + 4Al2O3(s)
Aluminothermy reactions proceed rapidly, emitting a lot of heat. After the completion of the experiment, pieces of molten metals can be seen.
Attention! It is a very dangerous experiment, it is advisable to keep a safety distance until the end of the reaction. Due to the evolution of smoke of aluminum oxide, the experiment was carried out under a fume hood.