Instructables

Non-Toxic Fire Breathing with Food for Fuel - 10 Foot High Fireballs

Picture of Non-Toxic Fire Breathing with Food for Fuel - 10 Foot High Fireballs


I know how you feel, you want to be able to breath fire, but you are not too keen on putting poisonous chemicals in your mouth.  In this Instructable, I'll show you how to blow a 10-foot-high plume of fire out of your mouth.  Obviously any activity that involves large quantities of fire has some risk, but this method of firebreathing uses foods as fuel, so there is no danger of poisoning from ingestion of the fuel.  Also the fuel is not flamable unless it is aerosolized.  This means that if you spill on yourself, your shirt is probably no more likely to catch fire than it was before.  With that said, I take no responsibility for your safety. 

The companion video provides instuctions and a demonstration.

 

 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You will need fuel and a flame source.

Fuels intended for human consumption that I have tried with good results are:

Corn starch
Non-dairy coffee creamer - powdered
Powdered sugar

I like corn starch the best.  It has little flavor and produces a flame that burns very quickly with a satifying ripping sound

The most important thing to think about with your flame source is finding something that will not blow out too easily.  In the video I used a cotton ball that I soaked in white gas camp fuel and then attached to a wire.  Gasoline or alcohol should also work in place of white gas, as will many other things.

Step 2: Gulp and Blow

Picture of Gulp and Blow

Take your materials outside and light your flame source.

The idea is to fill your mouth with as much fuel as you can and then blow with as much air as you can.  It may be easier to start off smaller the first time.  Once you have the fuel in your mouth take a deep breath through your nose.

Blow the fuel at the flame so that the flame touches the bottom part of the powdery cloud that is formed.

The fuels that I have reccomended require a large air to fuel mixture to burn.  When the particles are blown into the air, they rapidly combust.  The resulting warm air pushes the remaining fuel up as it burns.
 

I haven't tried this.
But it seems to me that you could avoid a lot of the dangers (and filling your mouth with cornstarch) by building a short pvc blow gun about two or three inches long, putting a cap on one end with a hole in it, filling this blowgun with cornstarch, and blowing through it. In fact, you could build and load a bunch of them for a performance.
Purists will say it's not the same.
But I'll bet it'll work, it's cheap, it's safer, and nobody cares if it's in your mouth if you can make ten foot flames happen with a big ripping sound.
Come to think of it, you could make the blowgun as long as you want.
Anybody want to try?

Good suggestion if you don't want to BLOW fire and you just want to do an effect.... It is an ART.

shoemaker (author)  Ricardo Furioso2 years ago
Take a look at cobblervideos.com where I have done pretty much the same thing except that I used a pneumatic cannon to blow the (flour). The video is called Flour Powered Flame Thrower.
To say that this is totally safe and non toxic is not accurate. There is just as much danger from inhaling this.Infections in the lungs for one.

I personally feel that these sort of instructables should be removed.

Fire breathing is something that should only be taught and performed by properly experienced and qualified individuals.
shoemaker (author)  jumpup_dnb_dj2 years ago
You make some very good points about the importance of safety, however, you are attributing information to my instructible, which it does not actually contain. I never said that this is "completely safe." I said it is "relatively safe." This is because the fuels I talk about are not flamable if they are spilled on your person or clothing.

This method is in fact non-toxic, because it does not use any chemical that is poisonous. You could swallow a mouthful of fuel with no problem whatsoever. The same goes for dermal contact with the fuel.

You are correct that inhaling the fuel could cause respiratory problems. I think that most people are aware that inhaling anything other than clean air is dangerous. The instuctable is also clear on the fact that this is real fire which has all of the properties of other real fires, namely that it can burn you, others, and/or property.

If you are unconfortable with the risks involved in doing an instructable, then you should not do it. But, please don't insult others' intelligence by suggesting that the Instructables croud is unable to understand risks and take preventative measures to insure their own safety, or by suggestiong that they they are unqualified to do certain things. Empowering the common man to do amazing things previously reserved for "qualified and experienced individuals" is the very purpose of Instructables.

That is an excellent response to a typical Instructables troll. Good Instructable.
shoemaker (author)  emerson.john2 years ago
Thank you for both compliments.
Oops.
Forgot to mention.
The capped end with the hole in it should go in your mouth, not the open end.
jj.inc2 years ago
Awesome
awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gotta try this!!!!!!!!!!
jlund2 years ago
Or just put vodka in your mouth and blow hard wen it's far enough away light it and have fun till you spill then you go boom and I lol
Is the effect created by blowing all of the powder possible in the direction of the flame (essentially getting all of it out of your mouth in the end)? And would it work the same if the cornstarch were to mixed with water?
shoemaker (author)  mvillanueva33 years ago
Yes, you want to blow all of the powder out of your mout at the flame. It is not possible to get 100% of the powder out of your mouth, because some will stick to the saliva in your mouth.

This will not work if you mix the cornstarch with water. The idea is to mix the powder with lots of oxygen. If the powder is wet, it will not mix well with oxygen. Mixing it with potasium nitrate might be an interesting execise, but that would definitely expand the explosion and burn danger.

You can check my youtube chanel for a new video using a potato launcher to blow the powder instead of your mouth. It is called "Flour Explosions."

You should mention more than just an offhand comment that any fine particulate powder poses a very real inhalation danger, possibly just as much as lamp oil in 'conventional' firebreathing. If you don't control your breathing or are downwind of unburnt powder, you can aspirate (inhale) that fine particulate, and it can cause pneumonitis. In searching for a substance that would be a suitable firebreathing fuel and pose less risk of lipid pneumonia, I learned that virtually any substance can cause pneumonia. Even vegetable oil.

You should always inhale and exhale through your nose until all fuel is cleared from your mouth, and train yourself to always pause for 1-2 seconds after a firebreath before inhaling. This helps reduce inhaling the dispersed fuel directly in front of your face.

Fire breathing with any fuel also poses the same risks of wind shifts, blowback, coughing, sneezing, hiccups and the involuntary 'gasp' reflex if something goes wrong, which all can cause fuel aspiration. So it should not be entered into lightly. Solid fuels do have the advantage of not wicking into fabric and making them flammable.

I'm not trying to be a buzzkill or anything, just pointing out important safety stuff that most people don't realize. Nasty firebreathing accidents, however, are a real buzzkill. I've been firebreathing for three years and training with some fantastic fire performers, and luckily the worst accidents I've seen have only been a few burnt noses and lips, and a few beard fires. I'd hate to see anybody injured firebreathing.
Thanks so much for the heads-up, I'll be sure to take this into account.
Pyrophoric3 years ago
But will it blend?
shoemaker (author)  Pyrophoric3 years ago
I suppose that depends on what "it" is. You can, of course blend up some sugar ro make powdered sugar. I imagine that many things, once blended to a fine powder could be used for fire breathing fuel - wood, wheat, etc.
MMoyce3 years ago
i tried this its cool
MMoyce3 years ago
will it still work with dairy cofee creamer
shoemaker (author)  MMoyce3 years ago
Well, I don't think the liquid stuff is going to work, but powdered milk type might.

I was actually reading the ingredients of the coffee creamer I used in the video, and it turns out the first ingredient is sugar.

Flour will also work.
Bill2803 years ago
Maybe you could mix some powdered sugar with some cornstarch to make a slightly tasty, but not too sweet fire breathing fuel.
MoreMagical3 years ago
ehm.. im not english and have realy big troubles with finding what corn starch, or powdered sugar are.. is powdrered sugar the stuff you put like.. on ur pancakes and stuff? :3 and.. the corn starch .. is that stuff to make liquids thicker? :P sorry for the lame comment but.. thats me ^_^
shoemaker (author)  MoreMagical3 years ago
I think the answer in both cases is yes. Powdered sugar is sugar with very small grain - like flour. Corn starch is used a a thickener for stuff like gravy and lemon maraign pie.
GianniMora4 years ago
AWSOME... im gonna light my freind on fire and blame you.


                  -M 
tictaclad4 years ago
 i did it at a party XD
Shadow13!5 years ago
Cool. You can see a big non-dairy creamer fireball on the Myth busters episode with the saw-dust cannon when they amp it up and use the creamer.
neat