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Author: Subject: Making KNO3 out of... Waste...
Camroc37
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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 17:15
Making KNO3 out of... Waste...


I decided to attempt making KNO3 out of straw and chicken wastes. The KNO3 is crude, but it will work in what I need it for. Does anyone here have experience with this sort of thing? Some people have made great articles/videos on using human urine and straw to make it, but since chickens expel more nitrates than humans (as I've heard) I have decided to try using this method. The straw provides a big surface area that allows gas exchange with the bacteria that grows on the straw. Has anyone else here done this and do you have any tips that would help the efficiency of my project? I know I could buy some. I have a few pounds but would like this to be a low-maintenance way of getting several more pounds every year for free.
(This takes about a year to get usable potassium nitrate, and a small process after this time to actually get crystalline KNO3)




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Camroc37
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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 17:16


Sorry for posting this twice, there was a small glitch on my end.



Youtube channel is Camroc37.
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpvdD2LIyXA34jvhPlUXorQ
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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 17:25


I believe that you are able to delete the second thread that you started in error.
As for the method you describe for making nitrates, there is an extensive thread (competition) on making nitric acid that discusses this among other things. The consensus seems to be that this method is (a) smelly, (b) requires a bit of space, (c) slow, and (d) has low yield with considerable impurity. For sure it is do-able. In fact I saw a video recently where someone made some gunpowder using urine and straw and it only took six months.
Like all such projects, you need to consider your reasons for doing it. If it is to explore the chemistry (which has a significant historical importance) then go for it. If it is to obtain nitrates for some other use then I can recommend other methods.
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Camroc37
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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 17:31


This project is not made for getting free large amounts of KNO3. It is to do what you said and to be able to make gunpowder/other such things using free resources. I know this is not the best way of getting it. I'm not worried about the smell really.
I would like to hear what other methods you would suggest. The idea came from Cody's Lab on youtube. I will try to find that thread.




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[*] posted on 15-8-2015 at 20:54


I breed rats for a few local pet stores and every time I clean the cages I have been storing the pine bedding and the rest in black garbage bags. I now have probably 100 pounds collected with the oldest bags being about a year old. Anyone know if this would be good for making potassium nitrate? When I opened one of the bags it has turned into like a mulch and smells highly of ammonia. Is this normal?

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[*] posted on 16-8-2015 at 12:36


As far as I know, back in the day when this was the standard way of making saltpeter, it was a strategic industry that required large fields dedicated to making saltpeter by royal decrees, soldiers with muskets guarding the stinky fields from angry peasants, and thousands of workers recruited from the poor classes that dug the shit for saltpeter. Maybe you will be successful in this enterprise... if you are the King of Ruritania. Otherwise, just use fertilizer.
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[*] posted on 16-8-2015 at 20:58


I don't know about chickens, but here's how I do it... Urine is added to a container of dry grass, now moist, and it is mixed every little while for a year to keep evenly peed on. Urine is added consistently over this period of time, and in my case I add some Urea (Couple pounds). Potassium Carbonate is also added by the pound, but not too much. After the year, the pile is left to its business for another year. The Bacteria will be fixing and nitrifying air to Nitrate, which is nice.The added Urea is supposed to give the nitrifyers a head start. At the end, the soluble from the pile are leached into water, and insoluble are filtered out. A lot of wierd black crud is somehow soluble, but don't worry. The solution is mixed with a lot of Potassium Carbonate now, amount depends on amount of pee juice. The mix is filtered again, and boiled down to dampness. Ethanol is added to dissolve Nitrates, but since Organic black crud stuff also kind of dissolves, you'll need a few more recrystallizations, most from water, some from Ethanol.
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