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exacting potassium perchlorate from flash powder


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14 replies to this topic

#1 THEONE

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:21 AM

Is possible to exact potassium perchlorate from flash powder from firecrackers ?
I was trying to ignite a thermite igniter with an electric igniter, and i have read somewhere that a mixture of potassium perchlorate and sugar can ignite a thermite and this mixture can easily be ignited...

Edited by THEONE, 16 February 2012 - 08:22 AM.


#2 helix

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:49 AM

I don't know how easy it would be to extract potassium perchlorate but if you have some sulphur and fine flake aluminium try a mixture of 2 parts sulphur to 1 part flake aluminium - it lights easily and burns very hot. Ellern mentions it in his book as an initiator for thermite and also as a prime that seems to have been overlooked.

It burns quite slowly and is white hot. I think it would work well - providing you have some sulphur and aluminium kicking about that is.

#3 THEONE

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:34 AM

I don't know how easy it would be to extract potassium perchlorate but if you have some sulphur and fine flake aluminium try a mixture of 2 parts sulphur to 1 part flake aluminium - it lights easily and burns very hot. Ellern mentions it in his book as an initiator for thermite and also as a prime that seems to have been overlooked.

It burns quite slowly and is white hot. I think it would work well - providing you have some sulphur and aluminium kicking about that is.


Ok i will try it.... thank you... i have bought some al powder from e-bay, i hope it will be ok

#4 FlaMtnBkr

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:13 AM

If you have a bunch of the powder from firecrackers why not just add sugar to it to slow it down instead of trying to seperate aluminum and oxidizer. The extra aluminum will just make it even hotter for lighting a thermite. I would probably start with 1/3 the weight of powdered sugar to the mix and see how it burns. It should be slow so it transfers a lot of heat to thermite.

That is probably what I would try though you might be able to disolve the perchlorate and filter out the aluminum. You would have to look at a solubility chart and probably use hot water because if I remember right kclo4 has poor solubility in water at room temperature. But I think the aluminum will actually help you quite a bit.

Edit: Not that dismantling fireworks is advised, but I'm sure most of us pulled the powder out of firecrackers as a kid. I only mention it because you did and I assume you have a pile you are wanting to use. Also, try not to include the clay plug from the cracker. It is usually a tan powder instead of a silver one and will slow things down. In this case that's not bad but it might hurt how well heat transfers to another material. Assuming crackers still have a small clay plug as it has been probably 20 years since I've done that. Even then it didn't seem worth the hassle.

Edited by FlaMtnBkr, 16 February 2012 - 11:23 AM.


#5 Potassiumchlorate

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:25 AM

Why not adding BP to it? Many "hot" primes are simply BP laced with potassium perchlorate and Al/Mg/MgAl/Si. ;)
"This salt, formerly called hyperoxymuriate of potassa, is used for sundry preparations, and especially for experimental fire-works." Dr. James Cutbush

Conflo, ergo sum

#6 THEONE

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:03 AM

What do you mean, add some BP into flash powder ?
Also if i had Mg it would be much more easier to ignite but i have al

Something else, i read in Nakka page somewhere that it is not recommended to make a blinder metal powders with water cause there is a possibility to ignite... and in my mind i had to find a mix that it coulb be ignite easily and it would be burned quite hot enough to ignite a thermite mixture and as a blinder use dextrin.... andt dextrin needs water...

#7 Potassiumchlorate

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:34 AM

Aluminium could react with the potassium nitrate, but you can add +1-2% boric acid to inhabit that.

If you mix 70:30 BP/ standard flash, you'd get:

Potassium nitrate 52.5
Potassium perchlorate 21
Charcoal 10.5
Aluminium 9
Sulfur 7


That'd be a prime hot enough for many stars.

Or hotter, 50:50:

Potassium nitrate 37.5
Potassium perchlorate 35
Aluminium 15
Charcoal 7.5
Sulfur 5
"This salt, formerly called hyperoxymuriate of potassa, is used for sundry preparations, and especially for experimental fire-works." Dr. James Cutbush

Conflo, ergo sum

#8 THEONE

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:37 AM

It would be hot enough to ignite a thermite ?

#9 Potassiumchlorate

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:49 AM

I'm not 100% sure, but I guess it would, yes. I have used H3+10% German Black to succesfully ignite thermite prime. This mix would be about as hot or hotter, since potassium perchlorate burns at a higher temperature than potassium chlorate.
"This salt, formerly called hyperoxymuriate of potassa, is used for sundry preparations, and especially for experimental fire-works." Dr. James Cutbush

Conflo, ergo sum

#10 THEONE

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:57 AM

I don't know how easy it would be to extract potassium perchlorate but if you have some sulphur and fine flake aluminium try a mixture of 2 parts sulphur to 1 part flake aluminium - it lights easily and burns very hot. Ellern mentions it in his book as an initiator for thermite and also as a prime that seems to have been overlooked.

It burns quite slowly and is white hot. I think it would work well - providing you have some sulphur and aluminium kicking about that is.


I have tried some compositions but fails... i tried 1/2 al/s 2/1 al/s 6/1 al/s... maybe the al powder is not fine enough

It was this one i bought it from e-bay

#11 Potassiumchlorate

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

It doesn't say what kind of aluminium it is, so I guess it's "paint grade". That might be the reason. The size and shape of the aluminium might make it completely different.

The best pyro aluminium there is is German Black, 1-3Ám.
"This salt, formerly called hyperoxymuriate of potassa, is used for sundry preparations, and especially for experimental fire-works." Dr. James Cutbush

Conflo, ergo sum

#12 THEONE

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:30 AM

It doesn't say what kind of aluminium it is, so I guess it's "paint grade". That might be the reason. The size and shape of the aluminium might make it completely different.

The best pyro aluminium there is is German Black, 1-3Ám.


Can i do something to make it more better...?

#13 Potassiumchlorate

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:39 AM

Milling it might help a bit, but I'm not sure.
"This salt, formerly called hyperoxymuriate of potassa, is used for sundry preparations, and especially for experimental fire-works." Dr. James Cutbush

Conflo, ergo sum

#14 FlaMtnBkr

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:33 AM

I have tried some compositions but fails... i tried 1/2 al/s 2/1 al/s 6/1 al/s... maybe the al powder is not fine enough

It was this one i bought it from e-bay


Is it failing because it won't light or because it won't light the thermite? What other chemicals do you have? Have any oxidizers?

#15 THEONE

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:56 AM

Is it failing because it won't light or because it won't light the thermite? What other chemicals do you have? Have any oxidizers?


Ammonium nitrate




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