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Topic: New Chemist wanting to learn  (Read 27232 times)

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marker227

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New Chemist wanting to learn
« on: July 13, 2004, 09:22:01 PM »
Hi all.  My name is Mark and I am 15.  I think mixing things and making cool stuff is fun.  I didn't get a class yet so I am getting started now.  I want to make a smoke bomb.  What I need to know is, is it safe to melt sugar to potassium nitrate?  If not please provide a correct solution.

Is zinc powder dangerous?

How do you solidify powders like engine powder into a thick block?

Where can I buy sulfur and some other less dangerous chemicals?

Any other experiements I would enjoy?  Thanks a lot.  I also need sort of a buddy to help me so I don't burn down my house like my mom thinks.  :)

Feel free to contact me anyway you'd like.  I really want to learn.  Beakers and tubes are so cool hehe.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2004, 09:26:03 PM by marker227 »

Offline Mitch

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2004, 09:34:55 PM »
You can't melt sugar to potassium nitrate. Totalyy different substances. You can buy pure sulfur from a pharmacy or less pure sulfur from a gun shop.
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marker227

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2004, 09:37:44 PM »
If you can't melt them together then when some instructions say "Heat pan on low and stir untill the sugar melts then mix it together to potassium nitrate.  Do I melt the sugar?

Do you know what dangers zinc powder has?

"Quote"
yes...just use salt peter and sugar

[edited for content]

"Quote"
« Last Edit: July 18, 2004, 06:17:02 PM by hmx9123 »

marker227

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2004, 07:23:14 AM »
Is that hypotsesis correct?  Anyone.

Corvettaholic

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2004, 12:31:37 PM »
I really don't know. But I'm scared of nitrates for the explosion hazard, I don't have enough to know how to play with anything with the word 'nitrate' in it. Ever burned straight sugar before? Filled my kitchen with smoke and it was a really overpowering smell. I imagine if you add sulfur to it, it'll actually stink. So why not just mix sulfur and cane sugar together and light that? The actual ratio's... well.. not to sure. I'm sure you can set up a balanced equation and figure out the proper masses for the reactants to get an optimal reaction. Others here know a lot more about the math part than I do though.

marker227

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2004, 12:40:05 PM »
I can get the ratio right I just don't know which chemicals are dangerous....

Like zinc powder...

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2004, 02:24:55 PM »
Zinc isn’t very toxic, its like a lot of other metal powders, you can handle it with your hands and stuff but don’t get it in your eyes or ingest it or inhale it or anything like that (Probably wolnt do anything to you but you can never be too sure).
Hydrochloric acid, guaranteed to make you lose weight!

Corvettaholic

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2004, 04:30:58 PM »
well, zinc CAN be bad for you because its fat soluble. Lets say you take too many nutritional supplements that are heavy in zinc... you can get zinc poisoning. Some cases you might even die. But handling it should be fine, just don't eat or sniff it.

marker227

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2004, 04:33:02 PM »
oh ok because on this site I saw that it was really harmful and very flammable and combustable... but on this book I got thats a catolog it said it was "slight" chance of flammability.

vulcan2.0

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2004, 05:40:06 PM »
just dont throw a match in it!

marker227

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2004, 06:43:25 PM »
yeah until it's ready to be lit.

Does anyone know how to make to powders mix then get solid?

Offline Mitch

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2004, 08:52:15 PM »
for safety information check here http://www.ehs.ucr.edu/msds/default.htm
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Offline hmx9123

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2004, 06:15:53 PM »
You really need to go to the usenet newsgroup rec.pyrotechnics.  Go to google groups and find it there.  These questions have already been answered if you search through past posts on that group, but I'll give you a quick answer to most of them now anyway:

>I want to make a smoke bomb.  What I need to know is, is it safe to melt sugar >to potassium nitrate?  If not please provide a correct solution.

Not really.  It's one of those things that you can do several times with no problems, then one time, it will get out of control.  Especially around open flame, this is inviting disaster.  If you do make smoke bombs, make sure that you use them in small (less than 10g) batches when making them, and don't melt them together.  Room temperature mixed KNO33 and sugar works just fine.  Don't grind the oxidizer (potassium nitrate) with the sugar together in a mortar or anything, just mix them together on a piece of paper by rocking them back and forth.  That works very well.

>Is zinc powder dangerous?

Yes.  Zinc is amphoteric (capable of being both a base and an acid) and as such, if mixed with nitrates, can cause a runaway reaction unless precatuions are taken to include chemicals to slightly, but not strongly, acidify the material that you're working with.  Zinc is very reactive, and burns with a very hot flame.  Although you may have no troubles with it and might not even get it lit in some cases, if it does get lit, and it might spontaneously, even mixed with some rather benign chemicals, you won't be able to put it out.

>How do you solidify powders like engine powder into a thick block?

Engine powder?  I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with it.

>Where can I buy sulfur and some other less dangerous chemicals?

I would take a course in chemistry before trying to go get chemicals to mix them together.  Alternatively, if you're just interested in pyrotechnics, search out a local pyrotechnics club.  Hopefully you don't live in a lame state like California or Maryland where those fireworks are all but illegal.

>Any other experiements I would enjoy?  Thanks a lot.  I also need sort of a buddy >to help me so I don't burn down my house like my mom thinks.  

Honestly, I would try a few things like exchange of iron with copper ions, etc.  There are some very interesting chemistry experiments that are decently safe out there.  I'd also have a lot of fun making large blue crystals of copper (II) sulfate.

BTW, I've edited your formula out of the thread; we generally don't post formula for pyrotechnic-type devices on this newsgroup.

Limpet Chicken

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2004, 09:19:46 PM »
Don't be reading s#*$  from the anarchist's cookbook os similar crapbooks, 99.99% of the stuff in them is K3W1 bulls&$# and will more likely than not get you killed, read up on some serious pyrotechnics, and get yourself a proper grounding in at least basic chemistry.

As for rocket engine powder, I believe the grains are formed by dampening the powder with a quick drying solvent like ether, and then casting the grains in a mould.

Offline hmx9123

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Re:New Chemist wanting to learn
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2004, 03:40:11 PM »
Personally, I wouldn't use ether as a quick drying solvent.  It tends to form peroxides upon evaporation.  I would choose something like acetone.  However, I am not wholly sure that a quick-drying solvent gives the best grains.  I think that some of those fuels use a corning process, but don't quote me on that.

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