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Compiled Information and Notes for the Production of Potassium Chlorate

For the Amateur Chemist

Written by the Bitter Armadillo

Table of Contents
Foreword and Introduction to Legal and Safety Potassium Chlorate Production Process Fractional Crystallization Process Plastique Process Chemical Notes Solubility Reactant Information Production Notes, 1st Batch Fractional Crystallization Notes, 1st Batch Appendix

Foreword and Introduction

Foreword: This publication was originally meant to develop a process that turned the random crap on the internet into a proven and safe process. However, time constraints have stalled that (rather lengthy) process for now. Instead, I have compiled most, if not all, the necessary information needed to produce potassium chlorate. I have also produced a batch and recorded the results. Hopefully my notes will help you learn from my mistakes as well as understand what will happen and is happening when you, yourself, attempt to produce potassium chlorate. Those who know how to use it may even take my observations and improve the process as I intended to. The full version will be published eventually, but for now this should suffice as it already beats half the shit on the internet. This publication was published in the name of the marketplace of ideas and free exchange of information. There should be no information of a scholarly nature, of any kind, which should be withheld from the public. Furthermore, as there is nothing wrong with the recreational study of chemical kinetics, the public should be entitled to information that makes this study safe for them. This is the purpose of this publication. I cannot stress enough that this publication in no way, shape, or form is intended to aid or be used by terrorists. Legal information: Potassium Chlorate is a powerful oxidizer. It is most commonly used in the making of fireworks, which, for those who dont know, is what is technically known as a blasting agent (a fuel and an oxidizer). Even fireworks are basically bombs so heed this warning. It is a federal offense, felony, to make a blasting agent illegally. It is also a felony to threaten or kill someone with the bomb. It is not a felony, according to my research (and local/state laws in your area may vary) to set off a bomb recreationally. Therefore, I suggest you get an ATF license. These licenses are $150 for 3 years and allow you to legally make compounds such as this. This publication does not support or intend to support or condone terrorist activities. Especially since this emphasizes safety, which I would like to note seems to be a low priority for suicide bombers. Safety Information: For a chemist in a lab, this is a relatively simple reaction. However, for the amateur chemist working out of their kitchen this is far more difficult. This particular reaction is designed for high yield, which means the chemicals are far more concentrated. I expect that most people who would care to read this publication do not particularly care for safety; however, I will detail how to safely handle these chemicals. Please read each note I put in the chemical notes so you at least know what the chemical is and is capable of. I will recommend the best way to deal with the chemicals. I should say now that HTH is the purest commercial form of a chemical that is designed to kill biological cells, in several different ways in fact.

Potassium Chlorate
Potassium Chlorate is a powerful oxidizer. The chlorine in the chlorate ion has an oxidation state of +5 which, especially given the strong electron affinity of chlorine, creates a strong general electron affinity. When placed in certain situations, it will take the electrons from its surroundings. This is what causes rust on metal as well as fire and combustion and is what is meant by the term oxidizer. Due to the extremely powerful nature of this particular oxidizer, it will cause the reaction to occur faster than the reaction would occur with the normal oxidizer: oxygen. Thus metals will rust faster (so definitely do not pour excess down the drain as it will more than likely rust your pipes) and combustion reactions will burn faster. Burning sugar will burn like black powder and aluminum will explode when confined. It is not dangerous in any way to humans, especially in its pure form (pure meaning not flammable since there are no fuels present), unless ingested. It is however, a weed killer and will kill basically all green things if it is dumped on them. Avoid mixing with any sulfur- or phosphorous- containing compounds for pyrotechnics, as this can cause spontaneous deflagration. Mixtures of potassium chlorate with any compound with ignition promoting properties are very dangerous to prepare, as they are extremely shock sensitive. However, when mixed with fine aluminum powder, an extremely rapid burn rate leads to detonation. This is the mixture used in the typical firecracker.

Process for the Production of Potassium Chlorate

Materials for Production: 1. Enameled steel or Pyrex glass bowl 2. Heat source 3. HTH* (High Test Hypochlorite, see Appendix) 4. Potassium Chloride* (No sodium salt substitute, can be found at Walmart) 5. Filter apparatus (funnel, coffee filter and container for remaining solution) Projected Yield: Formation of Potassium Chlorate Crystals (KClO3) 3 Ca(ClO)2 + 2 KCl Molar Ratio: 3 Ca(ClO)2: 2 KCl: 2 KClO3 Ratio by Mass: 8: 3: 8 grams 1. Begin by crushing the tablets into a powder (the finer it is, then the easier it will be to dissolve) 2. Mix the powdered calcium hypochlorite and potassium chloride in a large bowl 3. Boil water (separate from the powder mixture) 4. Add just enough boiling water to completely dissolve (note, the mixture of calcium hypochlorite and water is highly corrosive, so do NOT spill) 5. Continue to boil the solution until a chalky white substance ceases to be formed 6. Filter out the chalky substance 7. Cool to room temperature 2 KClO3 + 3 CaCl2

Process for Fractional Crystallization and Purification

Fractional Crystallization 1. Add boiling water to taste* 2. Filter whatever crystals are present 3. Place in cold place and let sit (for these two solutes, speed of temperature change does not really matter, however temperature itself does. See note) 4. When temperature is lowered to your desired temperature, pour the solution through your filtration system to catch crystals 5. Set crystals out to dry 6. Repeat as necessary*

Process for the Production of Plastique from Potassium Chlorate

Materials for Plastique:

Formation of Plastique* 8. Grind crystals to consistency of face powder 9. Heat gently to remove excess water 10. Mass crystals 11. (calculate the parts, mass of crystals should equal 90% of total mass) 12. Melt 5 parts Vaseline to 5 parts wax 13. Add white gas until all plasticizers are dissolved (campstove gas, naptha; only enough to completely dissolve) 14. Pour this solution on 90 parts potassium chlorate crystals in a PLASTIC bowl 15. Knead mixture until just mixed 16. Mold into desired shape 17. Let stand (for white gas to evaporate) 18. Cover in wax to waterproof

Chemical Notes
I) Solubility of Reactants and Products: Calcium Chloride:
Temperature (C) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Solubility ( g/ L of H2O) 595 745 1280 1370 1470 1590 2000 1500 1000 500 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 Calcium Chloride Solubility

Calcium Chloride Solubility

Potassium Chlorate:
Temperature (C) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Solubility ( g/ L of H2O) 33 73 139 238 375 563

Potassium Chlorate Solubility

600 400 200 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 Potassium Chlorate Solubility

Calcium Hypochlorite: reacts, no solubility

Potassium Chloride:
Temperature (C) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Solubility ( g/ L of H2O) 280 342 401 458 513 563

Potassium Chloride Solubility

600 500 400 300 200 100 0 0 20 40 60 80 100

Potassium Chloride Solubility

II) Reactant Information and Safety HTH: High Test Hypochlorite is basically the purest commercially sold bleach available. The bleach the average person is familiar with is a 3-5% sodium hypochlorite, NaClO, solution. As stated earlier, this is a high yield reaction, so I jumped straight to the pure shit. HTH is sold as pool cleaner in either tablets or granules or however else people want to deliver the chemical to their pool. For this reaction, the important part is that the tablet/granule (HTH) is 40-50% calcium hypochlorite, Ca(ClO)2. You will notice a couple of things. First, calcium hypochlorite has twice the hypochlorite ion, and thus corrosive (cleaning) power, of sodium hypochlorite. Second, it is a vastly higher percent. Finally, it also has 50-60% other crap. Depending on what specific product you buy, this other crap is actually shit like cyanuric acid (used to keep the HTH from degrading in the pool from ultraviolet rays) and bonding agents to make the salt stick into tablets or granules as well as other miscellaneous chemicals to stabilize. These other chemicals can generally be ignored, except where otherwise noted. Of course, this chemical is made to purify pool water so heres how that works and why you should be worried about the purity of this salt. You must first understand that the mechanism of disinfection desired in typical disinfection is to obtain hypochlorous acid (which, by mechanism even modern science doesnt exactly know yet, has the effect of killing bacteria and such). The hypochlorous acid is produced from pure chlorine gas. Hence the term available chlorine you may have heard of if you know anything about pool maintenance. It is a measure of how much pure chlorine gas can be made by any given product. The chlorine gas is itself produced by a reaction between the hypochlorite and carbon dioxide. It is hardly necessary to say that chlorine gas is not healthy. However, this is chlorine gas in water. In water, the chlorine dissociates (reversibly) into hypochlorous and hydrochloric acid (the former being a weak acid the later a strong acid). Acids are not to be feared in and of themselves, but in the concentrations you will be dealing with through the creation of this compound, it could be potentially face melting. Always remember, the less water there is, the more destructive the acid becomes. This trend quickly swoops to infinite destruction as the water content goes to zero, if you do the math.

Always flush with plenty of water if you spill acid, as this will quickly make it practically harmless. However, our high yield reaction deals with extremes of this chemical, so lets discuss what happens. First, what hypochlorite does not react with carbon dioxide to eventually produce hypochlorous acid stays in solution and thus, through a chemical principle known as Le Chateliers principle, forces the reversible reaction to favor the chlorine gas. Further, large quantities of chlorine gas could be created and if there is not enough water to turn it into acid, this chlorine will be released into the air. As previously stated, the reaction very well could favor the chlorine side as well which would produce even more chlorine. Extremely high molarity solutions of HTH are thus extremely dangerous as both strong acids in strong quantities are produced as well as chlorine gas. I would recommend always using gloves specifically made for strong chemicals and acids. Have water nearby and running at all times, as in a garden hose (I wouldnt recommend a sink as acids eat metal and how much corrosion actually occurs before the solution was sufficiently diluted in the pipes is impossible to tell), possibly with someone ready to operate the water. Remember that chlorine gas is green and heavier than normal air. If you see green, thats bad. But it sinks, Id recommend staying above it at all times. Never directly smell or inhale any of the fumes from this reaction and always wear a covering over your mouth, even if its just a bandana. Eye wear in case of splashing is definitely recommended, even just sunglasses. Long sleeve shirts and pants will protect you as well. If you do suspect strong chlorine levels in the air, remember that it reacts with water to form acid. I have not tested this, but in theory spraying the suspected area in the air with water could help get rid of the problem. If you attempt this, remember to dilute the ground around where you sprayed as there will be acid on the ground. Although not directly related to this reaction, it is worth noting. Do not mix HTH with ammonia solutions like window cleaner or your own piss as it creates chloramines gas which will kill you. Do not mix it with hydrogen peroxide as it reacts violently and will most likely scald you. Do not mix with hydrochloric acid as this also produces free chlorine gas. In review, its probably bad to mix it with anything unless you know exactly what it will do and are prepared for it. Potassium Chloride: This really isnt dangerous at all. It is simply worth noting that normal sodium chloride (table salt) can be used as well, however there are 2 considerations. First, the purification process becomes more difficult as sodium chlorate has a much higher solubility and fractional crystallization is thus harder. Do your own math if you want to try and purify that. Second, sodium chlorate is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water. Thus, if left in the open air long enough it will become useless unless heated to remove water again. For these reasons, I prefer potassium chlorate and thus this process will use potassium chloride. Naptha: Naptha is a solvent that can be found at your hardware store along with chemicals like acetone and mineral spirits. You may want to wear gloves, only because its a strong solvent and will be harsh on your skin (it will certainly strip away all the oils on your hand), there is no major health risk. It does contain benzene which the state of California thinks is a carcinogen (if youve ever seen known to the state of California to cause cancer its because that product has

benzene). Otherwise, its highly volatile which simply means there are a lot of fumes. This is actually why its useful. Just use it in open air and dont light a match.

Production Notes, 1st Batch

Procedure and Observations: While pouring the HTH into its own lid (which has increments of approximately 100, 200 and 300 grams), I noticed that any agitation of the granules caused a light dust to become suspended in the air. This powder had the smell of Chlorine/Pool Water (Cl/PW). The HTH and KCl were put in a large glass bowl. Upon adding water, a profusion of bubbles were formed and there was a very strong smell of Cl/PW. The bubbles occasionally burst releasing a white vapor and the smell. Although the smell seemed to originate from these vapors, I believe them to be merely water vapor from the boiling water added (based on previous observations of boiling water). I then stirred the mixture with a glass stirring rod (coke bottle), later I switched to a wood paint stirring stick. The wood showed no noticeable signs of corrosion, which seems to indicate a lack of corrosives (hypochlorites, acids and chlorine). However, the stick was immediately sprayed with water after each use, so perhaps the corrosion had not occurred yet. Stirring revealed a white solution similar in appearance to white paint. The smell of Cl/PW remained, along with the vapor. Upon standing, I noticed the mixture had separated into the white, paint like solution on bottom and a layer of clear, yellowish layer on top. I believe this layer to be the bonding agent included in the HTH granules. I did not observe the separation for long, nor did I separate the liquids. I then moved the mixture from the glass bowl into a metal pot. No bubbles or erosion was observed, which again seems to indicate a lack of any acids at this point in the reaction. I then heated the pot to a boil in order to remove excess water. A foam began to form upon heating. The foam started as a ring surrounding the center (main bubble area from boiling) and will continue to grow until it covers the entire area. As soon as the foam covers the whole, it begins to rise, presumably because the boiling was pushing air underneath the foam but the foam was not allowing it to escape. Upon removal from heat, the foam would dissipate. Furthermore, I noticed that the foam was dependent on two things: agitation and heat. Any stirring at all seemed to increase its formation. Also, it was extremely heat sensitive. Even half a notch on the stove would cause the foam to dissipate or grow almost immediately. I began to scoop the foam off the top of the liquid. This did allow me to boil the mixture without the foam overflowing. At the beginning of the boil, the smell of Cl/PW was very strong but as the boil continued, it seemed to dissipate. Although I may have just grown accustomed to the smell, I do not believe this to be the case. After the smell of Cl/PW dissipated, the mixture smelled of homemade playdough. As the water began to disappear, the whole mass seemed to be made of the foam. However, it was a heavy foam. The bubbles from boiling began to seem heavy as well, flinging mixture around and quickly disappearing. At one point, a hard white mass baked onto the bottom of the pot. I had to scrape this off. After this, continual stirring prevented its return. I also noticed small salt crystals on the outside of the pot and on the handle, as well as on the back of the stove. At this point, I poured the remainder (consistency of playdough, ironically) into a plastic bag and put this in the freezer in order to remove the excess heat from boiling. The mash was grainy and semi solid. Water is clearly still present at this point.

Conclusions: This section must be prefaced by saying this is merely what I believe, based upon reasonable extrapolation. These are hypothesis without an experiment for all intents and purposes. The HTH reacts with water to form several corrosives including multiple acids, both strong and weak, as well as chlorine gas (probably in high enough quantities to singe nostrils if directly inhaled). The substance that separated in the mixture was the bonding agent from the HTH granules, since no other compound in the reaction forms an immiscible liquid. The white color of the mixture most likely comes from a lack of adequate amounts of water as well as rapid production of a salt with low solubility (potassium chlorate) causing a precipitate. This would account for the white color as well as the extremely fine apparent mesh of the suspension. However, there is no way to determine if the precipitate in suspension is actually pure potassium chlorate or a mixture of various other salts involved in the reaction. The reaction either does not happen instantaneously or there was an excess of hypochlorite as evidenced by the lingering odor. It is impossible to determine which without further experimentation. The foam was a result of the bonding qualities of the bonding agent. It should be noted that the foam, although most likely caused by the bonding agent, also contained water and thus dissolved salts. Therefore, removing the foam removed product. An alternative means of dealing with the foam should be used. Purification of the salt mixture from the bonding agent should remove this problem. Boiling off excess water is both difficult to do completely without losing product due to cleaning and recovery issues and, at least in theory, totally irrelevant as the amount added to fractionally crystallize is larger than that added in the reaction itself. Removing the water simply means taking the salts out of solution in order to put them back into solution. The odor of the salts late in the boiling process makes a strong enough link between the bonding agent suspected and whatever bonding agent may be present in homemade play dough to be at least looked into. Further Experiments and Research Required: The separation observed in the process used needs to be recreated and observed at greater length. Preferably with attempts to manually separate the liquids be attempted. The results of strong solutions of HTH should be observed. The solution needs to be checked for odor (carefully) to test chlorine levels. A copper wire should be added and observed to detail actual acid levels (in order to become acid, the hypochlorite must undergo two separate reactions, each of which is only partial so acid levels are not precisely known by any means). The effects on wood should be observed as well. Speed should be noted in both of the above. The solution should be allowed to sit. If no immiscible layer forms, it can reasonably be assumed the bonding agent is destroyed by the corrosive chemicals in HTH. This could mean that an HTH solution would purify itself and prevent the foam. The other ingredients in the HTH (brand HTH) need to be researched. The bonding agent looked into, etc.

To test the white color of the solution, the same process should be recreated except with additional water being added in hopes of dissolving all of the salt. The reactants amounts should be kept small. Limiting reactant should be calculated and ratios manipulated to make the hypochlorite the limiting reactant and add potassium chloride in excess. Improved Process Suggestions: Although pending further investigation, an HTH solution to which either a KCl solution or simply KCl is added could have immense benefits. It may possibly remove the bonding agent (at least in a form that gives it its bonding qualitites). However it could also control the dust from the HTH as well as possibly control the reaction speed better. Do not boil off excess water but instead skip straight to fractional crystallization. Experiments and Calculations: Observation of Strong Hypochlorite Solutions This experiment has several aspects that need observation. Chlorine levels, acidity and any possible separation of liquids all need looking into. As noted in my appendix, the levels in all of these easily have the ability to become deadly. In theory, excesses of chlorine gas should oxidize or rust metals. Lacking this, chlorine is most likely at a level that would allow whiffing through a bandana to be a safe measure. Dilution of the gas through the air will also be utilized. Materials: 1. Glass bowls (multiple) 2. HTH 3. Water 4. Copper Wire 5. Plenty of safety equipment Process: 1. Mix several different strength solutions 2. Set a piece of copper wire, a piece of aluminum foil (1 piece facing each direction, shiny side and dull side up), and a piece of steel wool around base of glass (since chlorine sinks, it will either hit the metal or stay within the confines of the bowl where it would be visible) 3. If there are no visible signs of tarnish, then begin wafting air to your nose through a bandana and smell. Begin at a distance at first and continue closer until you feel it is unsafe. Record both strength and distance at which it becomes unsafe. 4. Allow to sit, undisturbed, for at least 10 minutes to allow any suspension mixtures and immiscible liquids to separate. 5. Observe any separation or particulates or other irregularities with the solution. 6. Place copper wire directly into the solution and hold for 5 seconds. Record any bubbles and corrosion and approximate quantities.

Determination of the White Color of the Reaction Solution This experiment is to determine if there are impurities giving the solution a white color or if the color is actually due to an extreme excess of salts that are coming out of solution due to saturation.

Reworked Mix Ratios, Adjusting for Limiting Hypochlorite By mass, the ratio should be 8 grams hypochlorite to 6 or grams potassium chloride. This is twice the needed amount. Even more potassium chloride can be added if you want to ensure that all of the hypochlorite is used. Depending on how much you would like to spend.

Purification Notes, 1st Batch

Observations: Upon adding boiling water, the white, opaque color noted previously immediately returned. There was no smell. While waiting for water to boil, there was ample time for the mixture to settle. It was immediately apparent that the separation observed earlier was actually simply salt that would not dissolve in the saturated solution settling to the bottom. The liquid on top was simply water, absent excess salt. It also soon became apparent that massive amounts of water were needed. In order to deal with the excess, I would pour a full bowl of solution into another bowl so that the solution was split 50/50 and then continue to dilute each. After awhile, it seemed that the amount of salt not in solution was not decreasing. This seemed to indicate to me that the calcium chloride was already in solution; that the amount of water was somewhere in between the vast chasm where calcium chloride is entirely in solution on one end and potassium chlorate is just beginning to dissolve on the other. Knowing that even a readily soluble electrolyte reduces the solubility of the other (since some of the water is already devoted to the hydration of the former salt, there is less water with which to hydrate the latter salt), I decided to decant the liquid. The theory was that I would be dumping the calcium chloride in solution. Although I would still need massive amounts of water to dissolve the potassium chlorate, I would need approximately 20% less water according to my calculations. I noticed immediately that the solutions became clearer when more water was added. As water continued to be added, the solutions became increasingly clearer. Eventually, I ran out of containers. I estimated approximately 13 gallons of solution were produced. I suspect that not all the salt was in solution. At this point, I must admit that my roommates do not know of my experiments and so time has its constraints. In these interests, I was forced to accept current conditions and make do. The time up to this point was approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes to boil all the water. However, with the decantation, I effectively had to boil twice as much water (the volume I could effectively contain was more important than the time and actual water volume involved. I also suspect the product will be the purer for it, but I cannot effectively evaluate this). I then set the containers outside to chill. It was rather warm out, probably 80 degrees, low humidity. However, they were in an area of almost constant shade and there was still dew on the grass. After awhile outside, I began to take a few inside and set them around an A/C vent with a fan blowing on them. To my surprise, I noted that the containers set outside were cooler than the ones by the A/C vent, despite the larger, more recent containers being outside that should take far more time to cool. Again, due to time constraints, I could not continue to chill the solutions and had to store several at a friends house outdoors. At the latest time I observed the solutions, I saw the same pattern of settling at the bottom. I did not see any obvious signs of crystal growth. I did note that the settled salt seemed to form a ring with the center being seemingly whiter than a ring around it. *** End of First Day*** For scientific purposes, I must note that at this point about 6 gallons were left at room temperature overnight while the rest was left at my friends house. I cannot with any certainty state the temperature of those gallons overnight. In the morning, I placed my 6 gallons in the freezer and let sit for about an hour. After which, I began to filter again. I noticed that ice crystals were just beginning to form, clearly indicating a proper temperature of right around 0 degrees Celsius. As I filtered, it seemed to me that the salt that precipitated out of solution in the cold

water behaved more sluggishly than that in warm water. There was also no indication of salt in suspension. All of the salt was settled at the bottom of the bowl. This allowed me to save time in filtration and simply decant most of the liquid without losing any product. It should be noted that the crystal size was still extremely fine. My filter system included an oil funnel with coffee filters inside pouring into a gallon jug formerly used for Arizona tea. 2 layers of coffee filters could effectively filter the salt; however, it quickly accumulated and clogged the filter. This significantly slowed down filtration time, sometimes to a complete stop. I placed the filters in a Ziploc bag and placed them in an oven at 170 degrees Fahrenheit in order to try and remove excess water. The bag melted before all water could be removed. I intend to finish removing heat in the morning. Since the crystals were finer than expected and cannot be removed from the filters by hand, I have had an idea. I intend to attempt to use a stronger solvent than water, either mineral spirits or naptha, depending on how much money I intend to spend (I already have mineral spirits but Id prefer naptha) to dissolve the potassium chlorate. I should then be able to remove the filters and simply let sit. As strong solvents are almost universally volatile (they easily evaporate, hence the warnings to only use in well ventilated areas), the solvent should remove itself, leaving behind the isolated salt. (As a note to those who dont know better, the water is necessary in order to separate the calcium chloride from the potassium chlorate. If a strong solvent may dissolve more with less, this only makes it more difficult to purify the potassium chlorate.) I am not certain if potassium chlorate will dissolve with either polar solvents (like acetone) or non-polar (like naptha and mineral spirits). ***End of Second Day*** I put the salts in the oven for several hours at 170 degrees Fahrenheit and there was still water, however it was mostly a paste by now. I have since decided to use potassium nitrate to augment the potassium chlorate in my blasting agent. Therefore I mixed commercial potassium nitrate powder to the paste potassium chlorate. The result was that the water, through diffusion, came out of the paste creating a powder that was mostly homogenized. Although grain size was clearly larger from the water, the consistency was the same as a dry powder and thus fine for use. Conclusions: I need more research into crystallization in order to produce larger crystals and ease the filtration process. The maker should be prepared for massive volumes of water in order to process the chlorate. My research indicates that organic solvents will not aid in the dissolution of potassium chlorate, however an experiment would be in order. I believe the result to have been a relatively pure form of potassium chlorate due to the observation of oxidation on the aluminum foil after a day of covering the solution. Further Experiments and Research Required: Research of crystallization and crystal size and growth is needed. An experiment on the solubility of potassium chlorate in organic solvents is needed, however extremely difficult as it necessitates pure potassium chlorate, which this experiment is needed to help facilitate.

Improved Process Suggestions: More water should be used in dissolution to ensure complete dissolution. The lack of small salt particles may ensure the growth of larger crystals as there are fewer granules on which to attach (too many granules may disperse the salt that comes out of solution with the effect of making individual crystals smaller).

Plastique: Some points on explosive bricks. First, the basic is that you add an oxidizer (as you can tell by ratios, in vast excess) with a fuel. Then you add a plasticizer (in this case the plasticizer and fuel are the same). Whether you want to use Vaseline or just wax is really taste. In fact whatever you add at this point is really taste. In fact, you can even add in other explosives. The general rule when mixing like this is that their properties combine. So, for example, if you were to add acetone peroxide, the detonation velocity of the plastique would increase but so would sensitivity. Always keep your oxygen balance too. Some explosives have a negative balance and will use your oxidizer along with the fuel and you should adjust ratios accordingly. If you use the acetone peroxide as in above, which has a positive oxygen balance, and then ratios wont matter since it will help oxidize any remainder as well. Grinding: Some people may get squeamish about grinding what they think is an explosive. Remember, this is only an oxidizer. At this point, you may think of it as table salt and may treat it accordingly. It is only when you add a fuel of some sort that it becomes dangerous. It may be a good idea to store it in a clean environment and keep it away from dust, organic materials and metals like aluminum (as these are all fuels) but this is by no means a major concern. Although fire is not a threat when in its pure form, just keep fire away as the amateur chemist cannot possibly keep all fuels away. Simply a basic safety precaution. Water in Fractional Crystallization: There are 2 points to which you could add water, due to the enormous discrepancies in solubility. You can add water until all the crystals are just barely dissolved. This is the safer route as any return you get out of the fractional crystallization is guaranteed to be (almost entirely) pure. However, there will be some potassium chlorate still in solution and this becomes extremely difficult to impossible to recover, so there is more lost product. On the other hand, if you add the water slowly, you should notice salt crystals constantly disappear for a time and then there should be a time where the amount of salt present remains relatively constant, or at the least the rate at which it disappear will drastically reduce, for an extended period of time. This is a result of the solubility differences described above. At this point, the salt you are seeing should be the potassium chlorate. You could stop adding water at this point and filter the crystals and then continue with fractional crystallization. This would, in theory obtain more product. It could also be rather pure, but you have no guarantee that it is pure. It could also prove difficult to judge the point at which to stop which could result in impurities. The choice is up to you: a guarantee of purity at the cost of lost product or more product at the possible cost of purity. Also, the temperature is important as it is the difference in temperature which will determine the yield you get out of the process. The idea is that as the water cools and solubility decreases, salt will come out of solution for you to filter. The hotter the hot water initially and the colder the solution when you filter it, the more product you will recover. Repeat As Necessary:

This is known as a cascade system. Each time you repeat the process, the product gets progressively more pure (although you may lose some product). For instance, if your process purified your chemical 60%, every time you repeated it, the product would become 60% more pure. So the first time its 60% pure, the second its 84%, the third its 94%, the fourth its 97% and so on. Of course, if you lose 10% of your product each time, the same applies and you will lose progressively more product. Again, its your choice based on whether purity or quantity is more important to you. Experiments and Calculations: Due to the time constraint mentioned earlier, you will have to conduct these on your own. I have provided the basis that I could, but I do not have the luxury of time to proceed further. Good luck and remember to be safe. The purpose of many of these experiments is to test the lethality of the chemicals. Be careful not to check lethality with your own life.