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KNO3 and SUGAR Smoke Bomb


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#1 airy52

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 01:52 AM

Hi.

I'm wondering what the reaction is between KNO3(potassium nitrate or saltpetre) and sugar is. Im not in chemistry currently and would not understand any formulas but a normal non scientific answer would be nice. Like, How does it work? What is happening, What are the different ingredients for? Thanks
Erik
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#2 akcapr

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 05:27 AM

im sure that depending on the amounts of ingrediants the products and the ratios of the products can vary quite a bit, but id expect the products to be some mixture of N2, K2CO3, CO2, H2O, and some other things
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#3 SkepticLance

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 05:53 AM

KNO3 when heated releases oxygen and becomes KNO2.

It is the oxygen that causes rapid combustion of the sugar. This works for a range of other combustible materials. Mix KNO3 in, and they burn much more quickly, even explosively. This is the basis of old fashioned gunpowder.

I believe that originally KNO3 was extracted from under manure piles. Not a pleasant task!
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#4 chemfreak

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 06:51 PM

I dont know but it works great!
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#5 webqc

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 05:39 PM

Hi.

I'm wondering what the reaction is between KNO3(potassium nitrate or saltpetre) and sugar is. Im not in chemistry currently and would not understand any formulas but a normal non scientific answer would be nice. Like, How does it work? What is happening, What are the different ingredients for? Thanks
Erik

With this tool balance I was even able to balance both possible reactions:

1) C12H22O11+KNO3=K2CO3+CO2+H2O+N2 =>
5C12H22O11 + 48KNO3 = 24K2CO3 + 36CO2 + 55H2O + 24N2

2) C12H22O11+KNO3=KNO2+CO2+H2O =>
C12H22O11 + 24KNO3 = 24KNO2 + 12CO2 + 11H2O

If you have excess of the sugar the first reaction prevail and if you have excess of the nitrate the second one.
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#6 MrBannerman

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Posted 6 February 2009 - 09:09 PM

With this tool balance I was even able to balance both possible reactions:

1) C12H22O11+KNO3=K2CO3+CO2+H2O+N2 =>
5C12H22O11 + 48KNO3 = 24K2CO3 + 36CO2 + 55H2O + 24N2

2) C12H22O11+KNO3=KNO2+CO2+H2O =>
C12H22O11 + 24KNO3 = 24KNO2 + 12CO2 + 11H2O

If you have excess of the sugar the first reaction prevail and if you have excess of the nitrate the second one.


Realizing that I am currently necro-posting by raising a two year old post, how does this affect the common conception that you need a '3:2 ratio by weight' of saltpeter to sucrose? This (exceptionally well balanced) equation seems to indicate that you, in fact, need a 24:1 molar ratio of saltpeter to sucrose - if you have 376g of sucrose (which is about 1 cup, according to accepted volume and density conversions), you'd need 2668.03g of saltpeter. That's a 7:1 ratio by weight. If we use the density and conversion factors to convert that mass back to cups, you get around 3.4 cups, which is still a 3.4:1 ratio by volume.

To truly have an excess of nitrate, you would have to have an exceptional amount of it. Otherwise, it's always going to be the sugar that's present in excess.

EDIT: Talking with a colleague, we decided that the excess sugar in these devices is probably to keep the KNO3 from exploding or just burning off too quickly to produce meaningful smoke. I haven't tried making a device in the appropriate molar ratio yet (that's on the list for next week, after I get more saltpeter), but I will and I will let people know how it goes. =)

Edited by MrBannerman, 6 February 2009 - 11:08 PM.

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#7 yev

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 12:21 PM

did it work?
what were your results?
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#8 hermanntrude

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 01:11 PM

I recently tried this. I used a 3:2 ratio of KNO3 and sugar by volume. It worked very nicely and burned quite fiercely with a fair amount of smoke (although not as much as I had hoped). I plant to repeat the experiment with some metal salts involved to change the colour of the flame. The smoke isn't very important to me anyway since i just like the fact that it burns so fast. There's always a small amount of yellow residue left over which seems to suggest the presence of KNO2... I discovered today that KNO2 is used as a food additive (preservative) so it must be fairly non-toxic, which is good to know.
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#9 Phi for All

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 01:49 PM

So can anyone give me a good recipe and instructions for making a colored smoke bomb I can devise for our Independence Day celebration in a month?
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#10 hermanntrude

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:11 PM

follow this link to the final page. I suspect you can use the original recipe and just add the colourants used in the recipes on the final page. I wondered whether it'd be possible to use a metal salt to make the flame one colour and a colourant to make the smoke another colour. Perhaps you could make red white and blue using red as the flame, blue as the smoke from one half and white as the smoke from the other half? (glue two recipes together with water)
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#11 Branstetter

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 07:00 AM

hi im kinda new to the site but i know how to make the smoke last longer.
take one spoon full of baking soda and add it into the mix it keeps it from burning to fast.

and as for measurements i go with 60g of potassium to 40g of sugar in a pot at low heat and stir until the sugar caramelize and looks like peanut butter then add the one spoon full of baking soda. after that is mixed in, here is where you can add 3 large spoons of organic powdered die to make colored smoke. (orange and blue work best if you don't and die the smoke will be white).

because i play paint ball and its easier to light under presser i usually put a pull pin in mine instead of a fuse.

for the mixture instruction video.


for the pull pin instruction video.


hope this helps =)
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#12 braggy

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 07:11 PM

hi im kinda new to the site but i know how to make the smoke last longer.
take one spoon full of baking soda and add it into the mix it keeps it from burning to fast.

and as for measurements i go with 60g of potassium to 40g of sugar in a pot at low heat and stir until the sugar caramelize and looks like peanut butter then add the one spoon full of baking soda. after that is mixed in, here is where you can add 3 large spoons of organic powdered die to make colored smoke. (orange and blue work best if you don't and die the smoke will be white).

=)


Have you been able to produce a colored smoke?
What type or brand name of dye you used?
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#13 Naruto-kun

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:13 PM

I use the 3:2 ratio in my model rockets and I'm trying to fine tune it to get the max power. Add more KNO3 and it wont burn very well and it leaves little white blobs which are either melted excess KNO3 or KNO2. Add more sugar and it wont burn well either and leaves excessive amounts of carbon. So far I have found the 3:2 ratio to produce the most power but I would like to fine tune things a bit so I can get more. Can someone please try working things out so I can do this?

Thanks
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#14 Devera

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 05:02 AM

simply the pottasium nitrate acts as an oxidizer to help the sugar burn....... as you know, sugar(c6h12o6) cannot burn by itself and niether can pottasium nitrate(kno3).... kno3 is an oxidizer, meaning it attracts oxygen, when its mixed with sugar, there is alot of fuel, nitrogen, pottassium and hydrogen are both the main fuels because they are reactive.... everything needs oxygen present when burning, the oxygen in the sugar plus the oxygen coming from the kno3 makes a great combination with the fuels

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
kno2 and kno3 are used currentlt for pickeling meat, also, they were mixed in food during WWII at military camps, camps consisting of only men... when there testostorome levels rose they became aggressive, kno3 lowered testosterome levels... (testosterome is a hormone that builds up from lack of sex)

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
To MrBannerman: so what would you suggest for getting the most amount of smoke possible?
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#15 chaotyk

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Posted 7 January 2013 - 06:29 PM

Have you been able to produce a colored smoke?
What type or brand name of dye you used?


To anyone that wants to dye the smoke a different color check out orcosmoke dye from a company called organic dyestuffs . I got a sample from them to try out and their idea of a sample was twenty times the amount I wid have bought. They sent me one pound of purple and one pound of green dye. So in reality they sen me three colors cuz when u mix their purple dyes with the green. It makes a really vivid blue. It s a chemical color change obviously purples and green don't make blue but with smoke dye it's does. So any body that's wanting to dye the smoke color this orcosmoke dye is the only stuff that works. And even then it's hard to make work cuz it sublimates and burns off if the temp is too hot so once u have your hands on the dye it's just a matter of lowering the temperature of combustion. I used baking soda and wax u can also try petroleum jellies like vasiline And if h have any questions just send me an email. email address removed by Moderator


Edited by Phi for All, 7 January 2013 - 08:30 PM.
removed email address

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#16 Phi for All

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Posted 7 January 2013 - 08:33 PM


And if h have any questions just send me an email. email address removed by Moderator

!

Moderator Note

Better yet, let's have everyone ask questions here in this thread so everyone can benefit.


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#17 Enthalpy

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Posted 8 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

About the mix ratio:

- KNO2 shouldn't remain in a flame where C and H are available. K2O, KOH and K2CO3 look more likely.

- The flame is very hot because no nitrogen from air dilutes and cools it, so the flame produces a lot of CO in competition to CO2. More oxygen wouldn't be optimum as it would leave much CO and add unused O2. So the mix ratio shouldn't assume CO2.

- You can use a rocket computation software to evaluate it, like Propep. But please don't use it in a rocket, because nitrates are too dangerous.


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#18 bobes

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Posted 9 July 2013 - 08:52 PM

I use the 3:2 ratio in my model rockets and I'm trying to fine tune it to get the max power. Add more KNO3 and it wont burn very well and it leaves little white blobs which are either melted excess KNO3 or KNO2. Add more sugar and it wont burn well either and leaves excessive amounts of carbon. So far I have found the 3:2 ratio to produce the most power but I would like to fine tune things a bit so I can get more. Can someone please try working things out so I can do this?

Thanks

Hi, I think I can give you a little help. I think that the ratio between 3:2 and 2:1 is ideal. (2:1 - work better for different additives). 

Power of your rocket fuel you can increase by some additives such as:

 pyrolytic aluminium powder - increase temperature in the combustion chamber so the reaction will run faster

sulfur - also intreases temperature .. and it is doing something else, but i wont know exactly what it is :D but the fuel will produce bigger thrust

Fe2O3 - this will help the most, it act like catalyst and increases the burn rate. and you can add only 1g for 100g of fuel and it will be 60% faster


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