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Specialty Chemistry Forums => Other Sciences Question Forum => Topic started by: limpet chicken on December 11, 2004, 04:09:24 AM

Title: Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: limpet chicken on December 11, 2004, 04:09:24 AM
Me been awake all night bored outa my skull, so I decided on a little indoor pyrotechnic entertainment.

Equal small amounts of red phosphorus (cleaned from match boxes, lying around, I haven't got my order yet) and powdered ammonium nitrate were mixed in a plastic vial and turned by hand to gently mix w/o causing any unpleasantness.

Mixed powder was set upon a 2 pence piece and carefully placed upon a metal trash can in my room and attempted to set alight.

Result was little more than a little hissing and localised incandescence, which blew out the lighter flame and went out itself.

I know NH3NO3 is somewhat hygroscopic, but it was scooped fresh out of the marmalade jar it was stored in, and powdered, then mixed in less than a couple of seconds, I would imagine this to be too short a time for the NH3NO3 to become useless due to water absorbtion.

Any ideas why it didn't even burn?

Nothing major, in scale, just a few grams of each, for no better reason than boredom, being a mad scientist is fun sometimes ;D
Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: kevins on December 11, 2004, 05:07:33 AM
Is this the "safety match"? If yes, this kind of match don't contains red phosphorus.  ;D
Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: limpet chicken on December 11, 2004, 05:35:23 AM
Safety match HEADS do not contain red phosphorus, the striking strips on the boxes do.

Many a bee, SWIM included has resorted to scraping matchbooks in times of no lab grade RP ;D
Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: hmx9123 on December 11, 2004, 10:29:00 PM
I haven't heard of a pyrotechnic mixture containing both of these.  Not to say that it's not out there, but i haven't heard of it.  Personally, I wouldn't waste red phosphorous on stuff like that--I'd use something else.  Red P is pretty hard to come by, as it seems you're well aware.  That's just the idiot drug makers ruining things for the rest of us.
Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: limpet chicken on December 12, 2004, 09:06:07 AM
I only used a gram or so of RP, that I found lying in a vial in the back of a drawer under my PC, I was just curious why it didn't work, as red P is pretty easy to oxidise, I wouldn't even think of using it to actually make pyro stuff, well, if I was a pyro enthusiast.

Idiot? SWIM feels offended :'(

Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: hmx9123 on December 13, 2004, 07:18:25 PM
I say idiot because it sucks when chemicals have a legitimate use in one hobby or another, but the government sees fit to outlaw it because some people (the idiots) use the material to make illegal items.  However, idiot being said, they are usually pretty smart people to be able to use chemicals to make different ones anyway.  Not that it's the people's fault, either--I think the government is to blame in large part for restricting the freedom of people to buy chemicals, etc.  I agree with the old quote that those who would limit our freedom in the name of security deserve neither.
Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: limpet chicken on December 14, 2004, 08:37:13 AM
I agree, its like they think "there's not much public demand for this here chemical, lets outlaw it because not enough people will raise an objection to count"

Restrictive legislation won't prevent terrorists and drug cooks from blowing things up or brewing up some fun for the weekend, if it comes to it, the terrorist types could go back urinating on nitrate bearing soils and mixing it with sugar, the current laws scare me to be honest, if I, or anyone else wants to spend hours poking around in a labcoat and gas mask in his own garage then he should be perfectly able to do so, so long as he hurts nobody else :(

What scares me most, is that I could probably get in trouble for doing totally legitimate experiments I do, just because of some of the chemicals I keep on my shelves :(
Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: jdurg on December 14, 2004, 09:20:15 AM
One thing to keep is mind is that by making certain chemicals 'regulated' or 'illegal', it makes it MUCH easier for the government to keep track of the people who are doing these illegal things.  If they notice someone purchasing/obtaining a few of these 'regulated' chemicals it will give them the ability to monitor them a little more closely.  If they weren't regulated, it would be a LOT more difficult to discover these drug labs because there would be no record of the items being purchased.  As a result, it would be very difficult for the police to get a search warrant since there would be no probable cause.  Now with the chemicals being watched, the police can see that 'jon doe' has purchased chemical A, chemical B, and chemical C over a certain period of time.  They could then obtain a search warrant to investigate 'jon doe' even further.  If he was doing nothing wrong, then they will just move on.  But if he was getting those chemicals in order to make drugs/bombs, they'll be able to stop him/her.  So while it is kind of annoying for those of us who are doing nothing wrong, there is a valid reason for why it is done.
Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: hmx9123 on January 21, 2005, 03:31:31 PM
I understand regulation, but not outlawing.  I don't want to live in a police state.  I think that there are some things that require monitoring by the government because it would be very easy for them to be misused: machine guns, high explosives, etc.  That being said, I don't think that they should be illegal.  I don't want the government stepping in and telling me what I can and cannot do.  I'm coming at this from an amateur pyrotechnician's standpoint, too.  You have to realize that the CPSC has just come down big on the pyro hobby industry, just trying to shut them out of business, and that the government is imposing some totally bulls&$# regulations on fireworks in Pennsylvania due to 'homeland security', which will kill amateur and will nearly kill professional displays there.  The problem is that many other states will see this new 'security' and follow suit.  Kentucky, a fireworks-happy state, is already set to follow suit.
Title: Re:Bored, why didn't it work?
Post by: limpet chicken on January 21, 2005, 06:19:23 PM
I agree as well, I have been in trouble in my younger years, for setting off explosions, I was irresponsible I admit then, but people can do it as a legitimate hobby, I rarely do anyting pyro related myself now, but the laws are just too restrictive, even over in the UK.

Chemistry itself is a little more respectable in the UK as a private interest, with the likes of red phosphorus etc. actually legal to possess, there are just a few things, E.G acetic anhydride, that are restricted for purchase here, and most of those can be made with the likes of sandwich-toaster ghetto ketene generators and the like, which I believe, is half the fun of amateur chemistry, building your own equipment :D

I agree about guns, I wouldn't want the glorification of gun culture like they have in america, and guns sold in banks, stuff like that, but I wish ownership of guns was at least legal for self defense, as the criminal element of society already HAS guns, high powered automatics at that, which leaves a lot of people, that just want to legitimately protect their home and family defenseless.

The sad thing is, for instance, I own a high powered air rifle legally, and only use it for going out in woods with friends target shooting, I myself would never hurt an animal, and would never shoot a person that didn't pose an immediate threat to me or others, but even if I shot a knife wielding thug in an attempted robbery, I would almost certainly lose my gun, just for protecting myself, and possibly even lose it if I were caught with ammunition I use, as they now have a law specifically prohibiting explosing ammunition (I make my own ammunition, using MEK peroxide, Na metal pellets, and tracer rounds using white P ;D)

IMHO, with laws like that, it makes it almost impossible to defend  ourselves, if there were ever to be a seisure of power by a despotic government, which I do kind of worry about these days, what with the road our government is going down :-\