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Home made natural explosives


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#21 systems_glitch

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 10:50 AM

You may also want to look into history. During WWII, cooking fat was recycled for making explosives. I think glycerin was harvested from it somehow.

That's right, glycerin can be rendered from any fat. Something like 30% of the nitroglycerin used in World War II came from recycled cooking fat, as you mentioned. Red meat fat works the best, a la Fight Club. Boil the fat, skim off the top layer, and let it cool. Nitroglycerin is, however, quite dangerous to make at home. If the procedure for making it becomes even a few degrees too hot, it blows up, throwing fuming acids everywhere in the process. Don't make nitroglycerin at home, ever.

Grapevine charcoal is almost never used in grills, because it burns way too fast. Pine burns fast too, but not fast enough for gunpowder. Hardwoods like mesquite are often used in grills. I've done extensive trials with black powder formulas, since we hunt with muzzle-loader black powder rifles at home. I've found willow and grapevine to be some of the fastest burning local charcoals. Generally speaking, the softer the wood, the faster the burn.

You /can/ produce charcoal by interrupting the combustion process. Get a good bed of coals going, and douse it with water. The problem is, the charcoal is now wet, and may not be charcoal in the center (just unburned wood).

Generally, mammal excrement is used to obtain nitrates. Cow dung and bat dung are two of the best choices. But you'll need to put them in a large vat and let it sit and ferment for some time, which aside from taking a while, gets really disgusting. Think cesspool.

As far as I know, tars and rosins aren't very useful for making things that burn /quickly,/ however, they do have use in making things that burn for a long time. It is believed that "Greek fire" used pine pitch as one of its ingredients.

I've heard of the iron rust powder you mentioned, but the formula I've seen requires table sugar too. It's referred to as "red-and-white powder," and offered as a possible propellant for reloading small-caliber pistol cartridges in emergency situations. I'd seen the formula in a military technical manual, for producing weapons intended for emergency survival if you were stranded in enemy territory with no other means of escape. Generally, if it's in that manual, it's been tested by the Army to work...but the safety of preparation is questionable, since it's last-resort kind of stuff.

If you do make anything you've read about (which I'm advising against), do make sure to check the sources and try to find accounts of it being used elsewhere. Whatever you do, don't do anything listed in publications like "The Anarchist's Cookbook," or "Poor Man's James Bond." A lot of that stuff will get you killed very quickly. Do it outside, and in /very/ small quantity. Make sure to protect your face, and wear non-flammable clothing. You can really mess yourself up experimenting with /any/ chemicals, especially those which you're actively trying to use to make something go boom.

#22 Colonel Panic

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:06 PM

When I was a teenager, I had a neighbor who was retired from one of the US Special Forces. One day, around about the time my friend and I were doing our experiments with black powder, my neighbor and I got to talking on the topic of explosives. He said that when he was in the service, they'd taught him how to make a variety of bombs and explosives out of common household products like cleaning supplies, foodstuffs, etc. I remember him telling me, "There's stuff in your own kitchen cabinets at home that could be used to make a bomb." I immediately started asking a lot of questions, but he refused to tell me any of the specifics. He no doubt picked up on my excitement at the idea and was thinking of my own safety. It's probably a good thing, too.

Edited by Colonel Panic, 20 September 2008 - 09:09 PM.


#23 Gnorthup

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 05:47 PM

That iron rust thing you were mentioning...it sounds a lot like thermite (equal parts of rust and aluminum). Speaking of which, that really isn't an explosive, but it's pretty fun to play with!

#24 PurpleJesus

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 05:56 PM

I wanted to convert some rolling papers into flash paper. I think it's done by soaking in nitric acid, water, sulfuric acid, water, repeat. Basically like guncotton I believe.
Getting sulfuric acid isn't a problem. The nitric acid is hard to get w/o the right papers. How can one make a small quanity of nitric acid so I can make these flash papers to have fun with some leaching stoners? You know, that guy who always bums papers but never throws in substance. Or is there another method?

I added this to this thread because Nitric acid is needed in so many explosives anyways. I just want to make some flash paper.

#25 chown

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 06:58 PM

According to Wikipedia....

In laboratory, nitric acid can be made from copper(II) nitrate or by reacting approximately equal masses of potassium nitrate (KNO3) with 96% sulfuric acid (H2SO4), and distilling this mixture at nitric acid's boiling point of 83 °C until only a white crystalline mass, potassium hydrogen sulfate (KHSO4), remains in the reaction vessel. The obtained red fuming nitric acid may be converted to the white nitric acid.

H2SO4 + KNO3 → KHSO4 + HNO3

The dissolved NOx are readily removed using reduced pressure at room temperature (10-30 min at 200 mmHg or 27 kPa) to give white fuming nitric acid. This procedure can also be performed under reduced pressure and temperature in one step in order to produce less nitrogen dioxide gas.



#26 systems_glitch

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 07:40 PM

I've never made nitric acid from copper nitrate, but the potassium nitrate and sulphuric acid method is what is generally used, and also what's described in the aforementioned improvised munitions technical manual. Be forewarned, that nitric acid will attack almost anything it contacts, including rubber. It must be made in all-glass vessels, and unless you actually know what you're doing, should be left alone. The fumes are, of course, corrosive, so if your distillation and condensing apparatus has a leak, or fractures during use, you're in for a really bad time. You should also be aware that impurities in either your highly concentrated sulphuric acid or your potassium nitrate (actually, sodium nitrate works just as well) can possibly lead to the formation of explosive compounds in a flask that's full of boiling nitric and sulphuric acid.

As a side-note, sulphuric acid is the starting point for the creation of most acids. For instance, hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid (same thing, HCl) is made by boiling sulphuric acid with common salt, sodium chloride. The two compounds swap metals (H and Na) and you end up with hydrochloric acid and sodium sulphate.

Also beware that nitric acid alone, and especially when in combination with sulphuric acid, will "nitrate" about anything organic. This is how nitrocellulose or "guncotton" was accidentally discovered -- the chemist responsible for it was playing lab in his wife's kitchen, and knocked over a mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids, which he then wiped up with her apron. He then hung it next to the stove to dry off, and it went up in a flash (quite like flash paper).

#27 PurpleJesus

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 08:41 PM

I've never made nitric acid from copper nitrate, but the potassium nitrate and sulphuric acid method is what is generally used, and also what's described in the aforementioned improvised munitions technical manual. Be forewarned, that nitric acid will attack almost anything it contacts, including rubber. It must be made in all-glass vessels, and unless you actually know what you're doing, should be left alone. The fumes are, of course, corrosive, so if your distillation and condensing apparatus has a leak, or fractures during use, you're in for a really bad time. You should also be aware that impurities in either your highly concentrated sulphuric acid or your potassium nitrate (actually, sodium nitrate works just as well) can possibly lead to the formation of explosive compounds in a flask that's full of boiling nitric and sulphuric acid.

As a side-note, sulphuric acid is the starting point for the creation of most acids. For instance, hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid (same thing, HCl) is made by boiling sulphuric acid with common salt, sodium chloride. The two compounds swap metals (H and Na) and you end up with hydrochloric acid and sodium sulphate.

Also beware that nitric acid alone, and especially when in combination with sulphuric acid, will "nitrate" about anything organic. This is how nitrocellulose or "guncotton" was accidentally discovered -- the chemist responsible for it was playing lab in his wife's kitchen, and knocked over a mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids, which he then wiped up with her apron. He then hung it next to the stove to dry off, and it went up in a flash (quite like flash paper).



Good to know.. Too dangerous for me to make. I'm leaving it alone. Damn sure don't want to breath any acid fumes. If one of you have the two acids, see if my flash-rolling paper idea is sound. Then mail me a pack or two.

Just for knowledge sake.. hydrochloric acid is easier to get then sulfuric acid. Could that be reconverted in a time of need back into sulfuric acid? I'm thinking the kind you buy for cleaning concrete and bricks.

#28 pedrotuga

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 06:27 AM

Hey guys, I red this book:

Do-It-Yourself Gunpowder Cookbook

http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/0873646754

It's awesome! It explains how to make gunpowder in a very interesting way. It's not one of those stupid guides on "how to make a bomb" that usually come with a lot of dangerous instructions. Through all the book the author refers to the old days and expose the old methods ( and their risks ) of making gunpowder and all its ingredients. Security is the big concern, no single instruction is given without making very clear possible consequences in case of accident and recommended equipment and security measures.

Not only the book explains how to manufacture gunpowder, it also goes into great detail on how to harvest and process all the ingredients.

Charcoal and saltpepper are quite easy to find. On the other hand there's a problem I didn't thought of... besides being potential dangerous itself, it turns out that sulfur 'manufacture' requires the extensive use of acids. To be honest I don't feel like be playing around with that, it's too dangerous to be fun.

I might play around with red-or-white powder, that doesn't require any dangerous chemical products.

For those who find this subject interesting, i strongly recommend to read the book I just linked. There's too much info in there to just dump in here. It's quite cheap and there's also ways to read it without paying for it if you now what I mean.

One thing that surprised me in some way, is that ashes are quite useless as an ingredient. I always thought tat, because of being obtained from regular cold combustion, wood ashes would still hold a lot subtances that would ignite at higher temperatures. I guess I was wrong.

#29 systems_glitch

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 06:42 AM

Charcoal and saltpepper are quite easy to find. On the other hand there's a problem I didn't thought of... besides being potential dangerous itself, it turns out that sulfur 'manufacture' requires the extensive use of acids. To be honest I don't feel like be playing around with that, it's too dangerous to be fun.

Acids? As previously mentioned, sulphur is a naturally occurring element, found around volcanoes and hot springs. I've never heard of producing sulphur /from/ acid. If you're bent on obtaining it from a natural source, go to a rock shop, they should sell sulphur specimens. Alternatively, most garden stores sell one-pound or larger bags of it for a very low price, and it's better than 95% pure.

It's also not anymore dangerous than, say, tar. We use it at home on our tomatoes, as a natural preventative measure against tomato blight. It's actually more effective than the chemical remedies. It does burn, but the biggest concern about it's flammability is the horrid smell it produces.

One thing that surprised me in some way, is that ashes are quite useless as an ingredient. I always thought tat, because of being obtained from regular cold combustion, wood ashes would still hold a lot subtances that would ignite at higher temperatures. I guess I was wrong.

Correct. There's not much left in wood when you burn it up. However, you can still make lye from wood ashes, which is very useful in other things -- esepcially the manufacture of soap. You drip water slowly through wood ashes in a container with small holes in the bottom, and collect the water that runs off. After it evaporates, you're left with lye crystals. "Black ashes," or more correctly, cinders, are charcoal of course, as you'd mentioned in a previous post.

Edited by systems_glitch, 22 September 2008 - 06:44 AM.


#30 pedrotuga

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 05:59 PM

From what i red in the book, a acids are used to extract and manipulate sulphur into an usable form.
Of course, this assumes one harvests sulphur from relatively easy-to-find-anywhere piece of soil/rock.



My father actually sells sulphur. AFAIK is used to kill any bacteria that might be inside wine storage recipients, like tanks and big barrels. Is basically set on fire inside whatever need to be cleaned and the gases should kill every bugs and bacteria. When doing this procedure one should get out of the room for a while and be away for a few hours. So I always assumed it was dangerous...

I red this at wikipedia...

At room temperature, sulfur is a soft, bright-yellow solid. Elemental sulfur has only a faint odor, similar to that of matches. The odor associated with rotten eggs is due to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and organic sulfur compounds rather than elemental sulfur. Sulfur burns with a blue flame that emits sulfur dioxide, notable for its peculiar suffocating odor due to dissolving in the mucosa to form dilute sulfurous acid.


Sounds dangerous, but i don't know.

Aren't you by any chance mixing up the product you use on tomatoes?... around where my parents live (Portugal) copper sulphate is used to that purpose. Dunno...

Anyway, let's say i get a sulphur specimem, how would i extract the sulphur from it?

#31 systems_glitch

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 06:38 PM

Sounds dangerous, but i don't know.

Aren't you by any chance mixing up the product you use on tomatoes?... around where my parents live (Portugal) copper sulphate is used to that purpose. Dunno...

Anyway, let's say i get a sulphur specimem, how would i extract the sulphur from it?

All that Wikipedia stuff about suffocating odors is just the description for how your body "describes" the smell of burning sulphur to you. Unless you burn huge quantities of it in an enclosed room, you're fine. It's not only similar to the smell of matches, but the actual cause of the smell of matches!

Copper sulphate is used for something else concerning plants, probably for a lack of copper in the soil. I know it can be used in large quantities as a herbicide and stump killer -- they sell it for that purpose at the hardware store here. I used to make it by boiling dilute sulphuric acid with potassium nitrate and copper metal, for use in electroplating, before I knew you could buy it. I am quite certain about garden sulphur being used on tomatoes, as I use the same brand we buy for plants to make smokebombs and gunpowder for muzzle-loader rifles.

You don't actually have to extract sulphur. It won't combine with much in its natural rock form, and is mined either directly from volcanic vents, or through a superheated steam method from large veins underground. Once you have sulphur, you have the element, and you can just crush it into a powder for use in making gunpowder. You don't have to worry about it exploding or catching fire or anything -- it's quite inert, much like coal, in its solid form. If you buy garden sulphur, which is what I'd recommend, it comes pre-powdered in a consistency excellent for making gunpowder. A single one-pound bag will last you a really long time, as sulphur is the sparsest ingredient by weight in gunpowder.

#32 ZioMatrix

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 07:40 PM

Playing with explosives is fuckin fun lol. Mixing the shit from sparklers into 2 bottle caps and then lighting it up is fun to see what it does ( flash bang)

#33 Irongeek

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 09:56 PM

Don't know if this has be covered, but if someone needs Salt Peter (aka Potassium Nitrate) it's available for cheap in about every wal-mart as stump remover (makes them rot faster it seems). Lots cheaper than a chemical shop, so I hear.

#34 Colonel Panic

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 03:48 PM

I didn't know we had so many chemistry geeks around here. Pretty cool.




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