Introduction: How to Make a KNO3 (potassium Nitrate) Rocket (Slow Motion Video)

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Have a look at the video for more details and true slow motion examples.
Fuel:
First you will need KNO3 and caster sugar, mix them together well with a 65 to 35 ratio. Then ad just enough water until it is diluted and stir well. Put it on a low heat and constantly stir, after about 15-20 minutes it should start to crystallise and then turn into a dough like texture. Roll it into small balls or pellets and let it dry.
Rocket:
Just simply use a pvc pipe, duct tape a cone shaped wod on the end (don't be afraid to use a lot of tape)
Fill the rocket with KNO3 and slightly compress it.
For the combustion chamber use a piece of wood rod that is slightly bigger than the pvc drill a whole in the wood then knock the wood into the pvc with a hammer and super glue it, Now your finished! Good luck with launching. if you have any question that I haven't covered feel free the ask me.

Comments

Raccoon77 (author)2016-01-07

Watch October Sky.

benthehen123 (author)2015-06-18

Ok your ratios are wrong from a chemistry perspective.

I think this is the chemical reaction you are producing:
48 KNO3 + 5 C12H22O11 = 24 K2CO3 + 24 N2 + 55 H2O + 36 CO2

So the Mr of KNO3 is around 101g and the Mr of C12H22O11 is 342g (3 S.F).

as it is a ratio of 48mol KNO3 : 5mol C12H22O11 you are looking at a ratio of 48*101:5*242 to 2 S.F this is around ratio 49:17 so by doing this you will waist less sugar and it should burn better (less annoying sugar).

Another thing to try is to grind up the sugar and the KNO3 into finer powder. Then compact the powder into a tube. Then make a hole in the center (it will burn faster). This will make awesome 1000m rockets if done correctly.

I have also heard of people caramelizing the sugar to make solid fuel. This could be dangerous but great for rocket making, remember to drill out the center.

Higgs Boson (author)2013-06-13

To get the rockets to be stable when they fly you need to launch it from a launch rod or something else to guide it. Furthermore it has to leave the rod at ,at least 30 mph other wise the fins will not be able to effectively stabilize the rocket. Also, you should add a nozzle of some kind to the engines to get more thrust. In small engines this is usually done with certain types of ceramic. This will allow the rockets to fly straighter and be less of a hazard to the nearby people.

Thanks, ill try the rod idea. And yeah your right about hazardous :)

Yep...nothing like flaming bits of propellant flying at you :)

batonas (author)2013-06-05

have been playing with kno3 few years back ago, and this fuel is the most simple rocket fuel you can make from it, but its not perfect, sometimes theres air pocket in it, sometimes it mixes poorly and as you can see in the video bits of it crack of the engine and fly everywhere, however its the best one to start with, you can make it burn much faster by adding red iron oxide and slow it down with some Sodium carbonate, its fun to play with but nothing beats black powder when it comes to home made rocket engines, hope that was useful.

SubjectAwesome (author)batonas2013-06-06

Thanks, ill try the iron oxide as a catalyst. I'm planning to make a water powered grinder for powder, sounds like a good idea to use black powder, But it would be very explosive, better try it then! Cheers.

mr sethm (author)2013-05-29

where do you get the potassium nitrate from

SubjectAwesome (author)mr sethm2013-05-30

From eBay for around $7 - $10 per kilo and 10 - 20 for postage. I would recommend not importing it for legal reasons.

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