Introduction: Make "Sterno" Flaming Jelly From Antacid, Vinegar and Alcohol
How to Make Flaming Jelly from Antacid, Vinegar and Alcohol.
Useful for camping, pyro, fondue and just setting stuff on fire in general.
First, get one of those antacids that have equal or greater than 1000mg of calcium carbonate per tablet. Crush the tablets into a powder. Then simply add 10-20mL of vinegar and stir. Let the mixture dry out until it becomes less than 5ml per tablet of volume. But keep it as a liquid slurry, if it dries out too much add some water. Once you have your slurry add it to rubbing alcohol in small amounts and stir until it becomes a jelly. Then scoop it out and light it up!
Exactly how much slurry you need depends on the particular antacid you choose. So just experiment until you get the right mixture. If you add too much slurry the mixture will liquify again. So trial and error are your best bets.
The tablets must have more than 1000mg of calcium carbonate, if its less then the reaction probably wont work.
We use 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) because it is cheap and anyone can get it. Lesser pecentages might work, but we haven't tried them.
Ethanol (95%) works better but not everyone can get their hands on that.
What's happening is that you're creating calcium acetate from the calcium carbonate in the antacid and the acetic acid in the vinegar. Calcium acetate causes alcohols to gel. So with these two subtances you can get rubbing alcohol to gel. But because antacid has sugars and fillers the gel won't be as good as gel made from pure calcium acetate. If you can get your hands on pure calcium acetate then go with that instead.
You can purify calcium acetate from the above mixture by simply filtering out the slurry before you dry it. The calcium acetate will be in the filtrate (the liquid part) along with any soluble fillers like sugar. But it will be purer than before. Just let it evaporate down normally and this concentrated calcium acetate solution will be more effective at creating the jelly.
Don't play with fire if you don't know what you're doing.
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