Instructables

Will silicon dioxide work as the oxidizer in thermite?

I'm just wondering, because I have a crapload of aluminum powder, and a crapload of quartz in my yard.

V-Man7374 years ago
No. Its inert nature causes it to be extremely reluctant to give up its oxygen. See the Wikipedia article. Most of these will suffice for your aluminum experiment, however. Just be careful not to get burned or blown up!
Guytron1 year ago
Yes it absolutely will but it needs a little help from either sulfur or potassium perchlorate (not both!). Googling "silicon thermite" will yield some videos and formula.
Prfesser4 years ago
The answer to your original question is actually "yes"; silicon dioxide, finely divided, *will* work as the oxidizer...IF one uses a metal that is more active (i.e., magnesium). I was informed of an incident some years ago, in which magnesium and silica in a ball mill caught fire.

But aluminum and silicon dioxide are unlikely to work unless the two are extremely finely powdered.

As V-Man737 says, be careful. Some "thermite" (Goldschmidt) combinations do little more than ignite and burn with a glow; others react explosively. I have a good friend who lost a fair bit of flesh to a reaction that was significantly more violent than was expected...

Prfesser
lemonie4 years ago
Not quartz. No. L