# Paraffin propulsion

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Hi guys, I was just wondering whether if I can use ordinary paraffin wax to burn and create thrust?

Thts because I am looking for an alternate method to making rocket fuel..

KNO3 I cant find it anywhere in my country(Singapore)..

So any clues?

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I mean as in how can I make small scale paraffin rocket fuels that can produce thrust?

Can anyone here englighten me? thanks!

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Will paraffin burn fast enough?

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Will paraffin burn fast enough?

I think it has been done by NASA researchers...they use pure O2 to burn the paraffin very fast...but in our normal world, isit possible to do that?

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as a Ram air Jet engine, yes it is possible.

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as a Ram air Jet engine, yes it is possible.

But you've got to get it going how fast before it'll work?

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But you've got to get it going how fast before it'll work?

Ramjets typically start working at about Mach 0.7 or so, give or take a bit depending on design specifics.

Mokele

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probably give a bit. then they only get efficient above mach 1.

you could probably get it to burn fast if you soaked it in LOX for a while but thats a tad expensive and dangerous as LOX makes nearly everything burn fast when its lit.

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Then what about butane or the lighter fliud? I amthinking of spraying a few sprays into a rocket body and then ignite it using a electronic igniter.

My question is whether can the rocket go up?Or will it just cause a meltdown of the body or even an explosion?

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It may explode, or it may work like a rocket for a very short time, but it definitely will not be a very good rocket. Normally, rocket fuel is solid or liquid. What you are talking about is a gas mixture. Density of gas mixtures is 100 ... 1000 times less than density of solid and liquids, so the amount of energy, available for driving the rocket upwards is very small. If it lifts, it will only do so for a fraction of a second.

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iirc, you can use NO2 or other liquid oxidiser. nasa is using liquid oxygen, they get a very impressive thrust (enough to consider retiring the old shuttle boosters)

i've seen a film of a no2 / parafin rocket fly. it had a fairly hard wax to begin with, plus powdered carbon. they set that into a tube and pumped NO2 through it. they just straight lit it.

i think they had a steel pipe as the fuselage (plumbing grade) and a tank of NO2 inverted to give a liquid flow.

one way of making parafin combust quickly is to heat it up till it burns like butane. if any water gets into that, you get a lot of combusting surface area plus the intense expansion of water.

how you'll contain the combustion while allowing air to the flame is beyond me.

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• 2 years later...

lol...i feel ur pain vincent4e in singapore chem and stuff are too well regulated

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lol...i feel ur pain vincent4e in singapore chem and stuff are too well regulated

chem and stuff?

Apologies, but this is a science forum... and I think that "chem and stuff" should be pretty illegal if you call it "chem and stuff".

Hi guys, I was just wondering whether if I can use ordinary paraffin wax to burn and create thrust?

Thts because I am looking for an alternate method to making rocket fuel..

KNO3 I cant find it anywhere in my country(Singapore)..

So any clues?

Give it up for now.

STUDY first, then try. Ok? Like everybody else... STUDY FIRST.

You're trying to replace the oxidizer with a fuel.

You cannot replace KNO3 by some hydrocarbon... and if you don't understand this, please, please give up, before you hurt yourself.

Then what about butane or the lighter fliud? I amthinking of spraying a few sprays into a rocket body and then ignite it using a electronic igniter.

My question is whether can the rocket go up?Or will it just cause a meltdown of the body or even an explosion?

Nope. Still, after 2 examples given by experienced forum members, you're still trying to replace the oxidizer (KNO3) by a fuel (lighter fluid).

In a rocket, you need BOTH the oxidizer and fuel... otherwise it's a jet (for example a ramjet)... you cannot take away the oxidizer, and replace it with another fuel... that's like having diesel and gasoline in 1 car, but no air to burn it with.

Apologies if you already knew all this - the quality of the posts was not such that I concluded that this explanation was not necessary.

If this was new to you - STUDY FIRST.

Edited by CaptainPanic
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how about mixing it with potassium chlorate to provide the oxygen?

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I dont think making Chedite would be a good idea!!!!

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is that what it's called? hehe

no i wouldnt advise it, i guess

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

actually it's not a cheddite until you add a nitro-organic as well. Nevertheless it could be fairly dangerous stuff... perhaps it'd ignite TOO fast

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Sometimes it contains the nitro compounds, but not always, and it Will undergo DDT quite easily too, esp as a rocket setup when it hits certain harmonics of resonance *BOOM*

Cheddite:

"Since the 1970s, the commercial name for an explosive compound used as an explosive primer for shotgun cartridges. It contains 90% potassium chlorate, 7% paraffin, 3% petroleum jelly, and traces of carbon black."

from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheddite

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Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that you're all responding to a 2 year old post?

confused apparently felt it necessary to necro the thread for a one-liner with no content.

Anyway, it should be possible to use a solid cast or machined paraffin block with some additives as a fuel source, using a separate chamber of liquid or gaseous oxidizer. Nitrous oxide could certainly work and perhaps the canisters sold for whipped cream could be utilized in some way. The rate at which the oxidizer is released into the combustion chamber would be critical, making this a far more advanced project (and much more interesting in my opinion) than a rocket using KNO3 and sugar.

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*sigh*

Thanks for pointing that out UC... I hadn't noticed.

Anyway, it doesn't hurt to remember people that fireworks and rocketfuels are dangerous... And I think we should not encourage complete newbies (people who don't even understand basic chemistry) to make anything that can self-combust.

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true, true. To be fair, though, I didn't actually suggest it, I merely questioned whether it would work.

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yeah, mixtures with Chlorates are never a good idea IMO, they certainly scare the hell outa me anyway!

anyway, Im putting this thread to bed now, cheerz to all who took part

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