Quelab (My local Hackerspace in Albuquerque NM),  Had a project theme of "Hacking Chocolate" for the month of February.  I'm allergic to eating chocolate, so I wanted to think of a use that was a bit more exciting than just watching others eat the stuff. 

So I decided to experiment with making a chocolate (candybar) powered rocket engine.  A quick googling showed me that I was remembering right that people do make Sugar and Potassium Nitrate rockets. (And even pixi stick rockets), so I decided to see if i could do it too but using a candybar! (you know how many calories there are in them Right?

Figuring sticking with a space theme, and avoiding complex compounds such as peanuts.  That a Milkyway candybar was just the ticket.  (turns out that was a lucky decision,  more on that later)

Step 1: Materials,

You will need the following Tools

- A small scale
- A hammer
- A grinder (mortar and pestle like i show here, or a coffee grinder you don't plan to use for food again)
- An anvil or chunk of steel or other hard object to pound on
- A Domed head carriage bolt (I believe the head size of mine was 3/4" and it was about 4" long)
- A drill, with, 7mm drill bit. and a counter sink drill bit, (or a  larger 1/2" bit will do too. 
- A permanent marker.

You Will need the following materials.
- Some clay kitty litter (a few ounces of clean clay based kitty litter will do) this will make the fire proof plugs at both ends of the engine
- A MilkyWay Candybar,  this will provide the fuel
- Some Potassium Nitrate (salt peter) (as pure as you can get) Oxidizer, 
- some thin wall PVC pipe (about the same internal diameter as the carriage bolt head), cut it into 2.5" lengths
- some cannon fuse,  or model rocket engine igniter.
For full disclosure, a lot of my engine building design was strongly influenced by these videos. And by talking to other amateur rocket enthusiasts. <br><br>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zNYMRaFS3M<br>&amp; part2<br>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzuX4Vw15HM
Did you try Three Musketeers?
I don't think so, twixt, tolberone, dove, hershys, mars, and milkyway were what got tested the day after the event (after figuring out that hershys worked less like rocket fuel and more like fire extinguisher.)
could you also add or use hydrogen peroxide, with or for the salt peter
can same one please show me how to make saltpeter
you buy it from gardening supply stores
Your creativity with chocolate has no boundaries, and having the knowledge of chocolate fueled rocket engines must be a story in itself. Hats off to you and keep up the wonderful uniqueness that you have displayed.i
I made one and it worked great! Thanks for the idea.
i like this instructable. Why? Look who posted this comment.
to be more green you should make your own kno3 from wizz buckets or muck from chicken coops and then use organic sugar fair trade sugar, or a candy bar from Trader Joes, chcukle!<br><br>seriously melting sugar adding nitrates is a recipe for death or disfigurment or mangling and blindness. Adding water to the mix at any point is counterproductive. Look up old alt.fireworks and see their files. you buy tubes and clays and insert mold bore s. (all the wrong words, but they will make sense when you see how you make them. The mix is put in tubes you mold in nozzles, then you put in the part that makes the bore and it is on a platform that you &quot;tamp down&quot; (can you feel th esurgeons knife yet as she slices out the damaged eyesockets/), then you add parachute charge or flashover to next stage.<br><br>As a person with many many scars, you do this at your own risk, and from experience it is not worth the risk. I was almost killed and do not suggets you even try this. <br><br>Just pay the price and buy Estes. Safer ,Faster, most cost effective. (considering investment learning curve, medical costs legal fees etc.<br><br>If you live in the larger open places with next to NO NEIGHBORS, you can do high altitude rocketry. You will get visits from ATF and who know what other alphabet organization. Could get you a work offer or free trip to Gitmo.<br><br>buy the freaking things
Can iron oxide be used as the oxidizer? My neighbors car is 90% iron oxide so I'm sure he wouldn't miss a lb or so.
Yes and no, im pretty sure we are not providing enough heat for it to give up its oxygen, but you might consider looking into grinding it up for thermite. (with his permission)
Is this a full size or a fun size milky way?
used full size, ironically the chocolate is the least useful part, so you kinda want more of the middle than a fun size.
You could've just used plain sugar for this. And melted them, in a pan, until they were a caramel color. I won't give ratios, you have to find that yourself, just look for making a smoking &quot;device&quot;. Plus going with the melted way would allow you to have more of a pre-shaped nozzle base (I assume).
Haven't done this myself, but I've read that it's very important to melt the sugar first, then add the potassium nitrate. Also, some water in the sugar helps melting, but then has to be boiled off.<br><br>Keep in mind that doing this wrong can produce a potential bomb. Overheating and casting with a crack are both dangerous failure modes.
True, but that is already well traveled ground, wanted to try something new, and chocolate themed. (February we did a big chocolate hacking expo). Even poured, you need a form to pour it around, or you have to do the same drill and form technique.
Could you use molasses instead of heated sugar?
Molasses has a high water content, so it wouldn't be a very good alternative.
I suggest dehydrating the candy bar somehow before you add it as fuel. Water is not good for rocket engines
Just a general point regarding safety when working with propellants: Make sure all your metal tools are non-sparking. Aluminum and bronze are a better choice than steel.
You say &quot;mix the candybar and the powdered chocolate&quot; Okay fine, I've ground up the milkyway candy bar, but where did the powdered chocolate come from?
oops, good catch, Fixed! should have read &quot;powdered Candybar powdered potassium nitrate.&quot;
Its amazingly easy to leave out a step of something one has done themselves. I left out steps for making a water bottle rocket 20 years ago in print. Thanks for the reply, and overall easy instructions!
Did you try malted milk balls?<br>
nope, didnt try them.. twixt was as close as we got, and in powder test burns it was almost as good.
Thanks, I've a 60mm black powder mortar, so things along this vein are of interest. The mortar scares too many people, looking for other less dangerous outlets for my imagination
Try icing sugar and salt peter !<br>More 'bang for your buck'<br>We made a bunch of these back in the day :)<br>Agree with the 'smoke was white when the mixture was right' from Krayfishkc !<br>Nice engine ! +++<br><br>PS. Don't try buying saltpeter, sulphur and carbon from your local chemists ! They don't like it ! lol
It needs to be pointed out that making your own rocket motors is extremely dangerous. Even the professional companies have had catastrophic fires as a result. Under no circumstances should these motors be made indoors. Also make sure you check local ordinances (as well as adhering to ATF regs) as it may be illegal in the area you're in.
I made caramel candy rocket fuel (saltpeter and sugar) in high school in 1966 and never put into a rocket. I used a bunch of 2 oz dixie cups and it was a little tricky melting it on the gas burner. It would burn with a 14&quot; flame and the smoke was white when the mixture was right. I set one off in the shower at the dorm and the bright red flame reflected off the glossy tile just fine. I thought the smoke would go out the windows, but the airflow was opposite and the hallways filled with smoke instead. Nothing got destroyed and this was before smoke detectors. I was lucky, nobody got hurt. I would have eaten the candy bar.
I wonder what different mixes of chocolate bar and sugar or other filler (ie crushed malted milk balls) would have.<br>
Im not sure, we did try tolberone, hersheys, oreo bar, and twixt, found milkyway was the best of all of them. but we did not alter the oxidizer ratio.. i expect one could balance the equation based on only the caloric content per gram. and try to match sugar .

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Bio: Im a bit of a geek of all trades. Of late most of my free energy has going into Making sure our hacker/makerspace is ... More »
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