How to Make Sodium Nitrate, a Potassium Nitrate Substitute





Introduction: How to Make Sodium Nitrate, a Potassium Nitrate Substitute

How to make sodium nitrate, which can substitute for potassium nitrate for most purposes.

Note: Sodium Nitrate is somewhat hygroscopic. Stuff you make from it such as pyrotechnic compositions should be used soon after making and not stored for extended periods of time.

WARNING: Both procedures produce large quantities of ammonia gas. You have to do this experiment outside or in a fumehood.

First get ammonium nitrate from an instant cold pack as seen in our previous video:

For the baking soda method. Get 80 grams of ammonium nitrate and dissolve it in 150mL of water. Filter it off directly into 84 grams of sodium bicarbonate, which is baking soda. Then boil the mixture down to 100mL or less. This is needed to decompose the ammonium bicarbonate that's formed. It cannot be skipped. The boiling will release large amounts of ammonia so you have to do this outside or in a fumehood. Once it's boiled, leave it to evaporate until dry.

For the sodium hydroxide method: Place 80 grams of ammonium nitrate in a tall container and pour 40 grams of sodium hydroxide on top. Then carefully pour 30mL of water and stand back. It will quickly react to generate ammonia gas and sodium nitrate. Stir the mixture to make sure it's completely reacted and then add another 50mL of water and stir until dissolved. Filter it out and let the clear solution evaporate.

Both methods will produce pure sodium nitrate.

To test the sodium nitrate for reactivity just mix it with an equal amount of sugar and set it on fire. Sugar does not burn by itself but with sodium nitrate it will burn with a bright yellow flame.

Sodium hydroxide is also known as Lye, Caustic Soda, or "Red Devil Lye" and can easily be purchased online.



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Idea for preservation of finished powder: Put finished powder in an airtight container, then put an open container of borax in with it, then seal. don't mix the two.

can you use ammonia nitrate instead of potassium nitrate to make black powder using the same basic recipe: 75% nitrate; 15% charcoal; 10% sulfur?

the Ice packs that I have say that they are sodium nitrate already is there a prosses to make this purer or more potent? cause it is not flammable with surger as in the video I'd appreciate the help!

Re-Crystallization... It would also need to be ground up finely, but chances are if your using the stuff strait from the Cold Back that the outside of the Prills are coverd with some Anti-Caking agent, which more then likely doubles as a fire retardent...

have you tried filtering and recrystalization?

Yeah actually, typically in any pyrotechnic composition, purity tends to be fairly important.

Thank you for this informative Video NurdRage, I am sorry that you are unable to continue to make videos... But Know that I have learned a lot from the ones you did make, and that It is all greatly appreciated!!

why was it bubbling up like solder when u lit it?