WARNING TO READERS
This publication contains depictions and descriptions of dangerous mixtures. Theinformation is based on the experience of the author using specific tools andingredients under specific conditions not necessarily described in the text. Nowarranties are made. Readers are cautioned that they must form their ownopinion as to the application of anything found in this book.
Most of us have experimented with some kind of a combustible mixture when wewhile a child. Most of them are Fuel Oxidizer mixture, the most common basematter is KNO
when heated alone it decompose into KNO
and O, however theprocess is very different when mix with other material.Black powder:The most well known is black powder, where 15parts of KNO
is mixed with 2 partof sulfur and 3 part of Charcoal. When properly made it is very powerful, but mosthome experimenter will not have access to the equipments are skills, things likeball mill and properly made softwood charcoal. The most irritating property aboutblack powder is the need for charcoal. Charcoal whose composition varies over alarge range means the many uncertainties in mixing black powder. It is said thesoftwood charred at 400°C with the retort method; apparently willow is the bestwood, followed by maple, apple, and beech and Grape vein. The mixing is alsovery time-consuming and a ball mill is compulsory. The uncertainties with charcoalstop the use of black powder in the underprivileged chemists. Even in theprofessional world people attempted to replace Charcoal with phenolphthalein. Incommercial black powder the maker first ball mill all ingredients to dust, then theymix it when it is damp and wheel mill it. After that it is dried into cakes thenbroken down and pressed with huge machines to cakes again, this cake is thenbroken in to granules and properly dried, now do you think you can reproducethat? Alternatively if you are interested in the making of Black powder you canhave a look at “Black powder manufacturing, testing and optimizing” by Ian vonMaltitz.Other MixturesAnother common mix is Potassium Nitrate and common table sugar, there aremany advantages of this mix, it produce a large amount of smoke, which ismainly, water vapor and fine suspended dust of Potassium Carbonate. The