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Author: Subject: Nitrating paper
PyroRA
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[*] posted on 5-8-2008 at 06:42
Nitrating paper


It is something I really want to know how to do, and cant find out how?(I SWEAR I GOOGLED) I am guessing I want to add KNO3 or NH4NO3 to some mixture of sulfuric, nitric, or phosphoric acid, then set the paper in and wait. BUT I have learned guessing should be left outside the lab. So basically if anyone can provide me with a simple method, or 2, or just some information that will help me, it would be much appreciated. I WANT FLASH PAPER!!!!

Thanks
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ScienceSquirrel
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[*] posted on 5-8-2008 at 07:15


Obviously you did not look very hard, if you can find someone with access to JCE then there is a good procedure here;
http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/journal/Issues/1995/Dec/abs1133...

Apart from that it is widely available online from conjuring shops.
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ScienceSquirrel
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[*] posted on 5-8-2008 at 07:28


Sam Barro gives a method of preparation;

http://www.powerlabs.org/chemlabs/nitrocellulose.htm

As well as that an experiment which I do as a demo is to spear a ping pong ball on a wooden skewer. This is then ignited by touching the ping pong ball to the flame of a gas torch at a safe distance. Ping pong balls are made of nitrocellulose and it ignites in a fairly spectacular manner

[Edited on 5-8-2008 by ScienceSquirrel]
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franklyn
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[*] posted on 5-8-2008 at 08:18


Anytime someone says " I can't find it on google " I wince, thinking to myself
oh no is this being censored, but I have as yet to find this to be the case.
I debated with myself whether to answer since it appears you could not find
your own ass with both hands if I drew you a diagram and took you there by
the wrist. Not confidence inspiring. There is even an entry in wikipedia on this!

Enter these search terms as shown here into google for more information
nitrocellulose "flash paper" magician

What I found

1. You can buy it in any magic store
http://www.hfmgroup.com/professionalsupplies/flashguns.html

2. If the above is not an option
http://collectables.shop.ebay.co.uk/items/Fantasy-Myth-Magic...

3. If you really want to roll your own
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem99/chem99569.htm

MSDS - http://www.starmgc.com/MSDSpaper.html

This is not a joke/novelty, it is a pyrotechnic. Beware breathing
fumes from your acid blend, do it outside and stand upwind to the dish.


P.S.
I have not done the following, but I understand that soaking paper in a hot
saturated solution of Potassium chlorate then letting this dry serves much the
same purpose.

.
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sparkgap
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[*] posted on 6-8-2008 at 05:58
Well...


Quote:
Originally posted by ScienceSquirrel
Obviously you did not look very hard, if you can find someone with access to JCE then there is a good procedure here;
http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/journal/Issues/1995/Dec/abs1133...

Apart from that it is widely available online from conjuring shops.


If you want a look...

sparky (~_~)

Attachment: nitropaper.pdf (1.4MB)
This file has been downloaded 677 times





"What's UTFSE? I keep hearing about it, but I can't be arsed to search for the answer..."
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Tacho
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[*] posted on 7-8-2008 at 04:26


In case you have difficulties finding nitric acid, the book "Caveman Chemistry" describes the nitration of cotton using a paste made with 15g of H2SO4 and 10 grams of potasium (or sodium) nitrate. The Idea is simple: HNO3 gets generated "in situ".
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ScienceSquirrel
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[*] posted on 7-8-2008 at 17:07


If you want a few sheets for demo expts then I would suggest buying it.

Nitrating paper is a lot of trouble on a small scale and that is ignoring the fire risk.
I do chemical demonstrations and the fire risks are always uppermost in my mind.
Setting fire to the audience is not a good idea!
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PyroRA
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[*] posted on 8-8-2008 at 03:43


Thank you guys so much for all the info.
Now this is NOT a professional thing, I just really want to make some, It seems so cool and interesting me, so I don't have nitric acid and making/obtaining it would be a whole different story, but I can do without by adding KNO3 into the idea, so heres my next question, I am too lazy to search for, Where can I get/how can I make H2SO4. I thought all this could be done with battery acid, that isn't out of my reach, Heh. Also Would Acrylonitrile gloves be sufficient in case of contact?

Thanks again.

R.A.
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ScienceSquirrel
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[*] posted on 8-8-2008 at 04:19


Unless you have access to good reagent grade chemicals and the type of equipment detailed in the JCE paper I would just forget about the whole idea of making it.
Mixtures of battery acid and potassium nitrate just will not work. It will be a nasty mixture that you will have to dilute and dispose of.
Flash paper is extremely flammable. The commercial material is supplied wet and the people who use it dry it off carefully before use.
If you want to experience the effects of burning nitrocellulose, just try my table tennis ball trick. The ball erupts into a sheet of flame.
Many years ago someone decided to ruin some teenagers' table tennis game by burning a hole in the ball with the tip of his lighted cigarette, he was taken to hospital with severe burns.
Here is a video of a burning table tennis ball;
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/597183/table_tennis_ball_at_fi...
Nitrocellulose is an interesting material but it has to be treated with respect and handled with the appropriate precautions otherwise you may have a severe and possibly fatal accident.

[Edited on 8-8-2008 by ScienceSquirrel]
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