How to test stump remover for KNO3?

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linker33
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How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by linker33 » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:25 am

I originaly started looking at this site, for pulsejet design. I've even gone and bought a welder. However my welding will need some practice before I start building anything.
So...my question, I have been reading thru this rocket forum, and Nakka's site, and I found some stump remover at the local Home Depot. The brand is Grants Stump Remover, and I know that someone mentioned it in a thread there. However I've read elsewhere that some stump removers are made with sodium hydroxide, instead of potasium nitrate. Is there a simple way to test the stump remover to see if it is Kno3 prior to making the rcandy, as I really don't want to be cooking up anything without being certian whats in it. Thanks.

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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Mark » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:45 am

Presentation is Everything

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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by linker33 » Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:48 am

Thanks for the link, seems like some great prices there. I will definatly look to ebay if buying some larger qty's. However, right now I just want a cheap small amount to start off with. There's got to be a fairly simple test to determine if the substance is a high % KNO3.

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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Greg O'Bryant » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:22 am

Does the bottle have a web page where you could look up the msds? I did this with the Spectricide brand and it turned out to be 99%. After going through several bottles at $5/lb. I soon realized it would be a lot cheaper to buy a bag of fertilizer. I got 50 lbs. for just $27.00. It is prilled, but that is not a problem when you make rocket candy by re-crystallizing. That is if you are going to be making rocket candy. Also some people say that re-crystallizing is an inferior way of making rocket candy, or that fertilizer is substandard to other forms of KNO3. I haven't noticed any problems at all. I just made some F sized engines that worked perfectly. I found that the biggest trick to making re-crystallized rocket candy is simply having the right amount of [u]moisture and temperature so that it is moldable, and still burns good. No special SUGARS, ADDITIVES or HIGH PRICED KNO3 needed, just plain old sucrose and fertilizer works great. :) This is in direct conflict to some of my other posts.
P.S. Sorry for the wordy response I have read a lot of contradictory info on the web that led me to do a lot of unnecessary experimentation with different formulations etc. Just trying to help you avoid some potential pitfalls that I fell for.

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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Ray » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:25 pm

I'll check with some of my buddies to find if there is a simple way to test for KNO3...

In the mean time, check the side of the container, if it says it contains Potasium Nitrate, its most likely ALL KNO3...virtually all of the brands that I have looked at are fairly high purity, not lab grade, 98% or better...

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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Dang911 » Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:51 pm

Its pure KNO3, I work at Home Depot and have the all the MSDS's. The first thing I did when I started working there was to look up all the unknown chemicals they sell under different names or products. HEHE
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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by linker33 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:42 am

Thanks Dang, thats just what I wanted to hear.

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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by thecheat » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:05 pm

linker, if you're still having doubts (I had some myself) it IS KNO3, I mixed some up with sugar, and, through a couple tries using flame (not the best way to let them mix we were only testing to see if it actually produced a good flame as said to) I got some NICE smoke, just as is supposed to happen with KNO3 and sugar.

PS: this stuff burns HOT! using a can (steel) to melt the stuff in, I was using alcohol for heating, it started to fizz and I backed off. After the cloud of smoke died off the stuff had burnt through the can! (I can show pictures if necessary)
PPS: this is "grants" stump remover I used.
Last edited by thecheat on Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Dang911 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:09 pm

That the test proves absolutely nothing! Any oxidizer mixed with a sugar (fuel) will make smoke and a flame.
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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by thecheat » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:27 pm

Ok, sorry I guess I was just a bit eager. The stump remover and sugar made the resulting smoke and flame go exactly as described as a saltpeter and sucrose are supposed to. But, I'm curious (a LOT of this is very new to me) what other oxidizers would you use to make a nice cloud of smoke and flame?

PS: on the label under the caution part it says "warning this product contains potassium nitrate" I should have said that before...
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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Dang911 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:35 pm

Ok, your asking for help with chemistry all over this forum, yet I see you try and give advice as you know what your talking about.... I get worried. Chemicals can be dangerous, and giving advice as a novice is not a good idea. Every time I see this happening, I cringe!!!

See the attachment, Nuff said.....
Attachments
grants stump remover msds.pdf
98% pure kno3, the remained is a binder most likely water soluble
(31.37 KiB) Downloaded 657 times
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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by thecheat » Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:12 am

Ok, I get your point, I should probably be quiet until I know a bit more about these chemicals. I guess I'm actually being too helpful for my own good... ;-)

As I've said before, I'm trying to learn, not get myself/others hurt, I'll take the advice and make use of it! Also, I'll zip it for a while until I've had more time to do extensive research on some of this stuff. Already the nakka site is helping, I see that using dextrose would be smarter for me then sugar as it's a bit safer, and easier to cast. Enough for today though, my eyes are going to bleed if I stay on this computer much longer.

PS: Well, anyways, feel free to straighten me out if I say something incorrect. maybe someday I'll be doing the same to someone else...
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Greg O'Bryant
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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Greg O'Bryant » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:20 am

Before you buy any dextrose or rocket making supplies look at this web page www.jamesyawn.com

The methods on his page worked pretty well for me. P.S. the corn syrup is not necessary just experience with casting the grains.

PPS.
Does anyone know why Tripoli doesn't allow sucrose engines at their EX launches?

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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Ray » Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:15 pm

as far as I know they do allow sugar motors at their launches...I've been to several where they have launched sugar motors...

I saw a large percentage of them CATO on the pad...somthing about cracked grains...You shouldn't store sugar grains for very long...I have heard about guys sealing them up in a ziplock bag, putting some desicant in and putting them in the freezer...they have reported good success with this storage method.

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re: How to test stump remover for KNO3?

Post by Greg O'Bryant » Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:41 pm

If you read in the Tripoli rules it states that the sugar engines have to be dextrose or sorbitol based. I don't know how they would prove other wise. Just my luck the engine would cato, someone would get hurt, and that would be all the reason in the world for the insurance company to deny any payment.

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