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Potassium nitrate as a oxidizer in liquid fuel rocket? Answered

Would potassium nitrate work as a oxidizer in a liquid fuel rocket?

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Downunder35m (author)2014-11-22

Unsuitable, slapeter is for solid rocket fuel, classic liquid fuels are oxigen and NOS.

Playing with rockets is one thing but if you have to inquire about the basic fuels you need a better hobby as otherwise I only see you burning in a field somewhere...

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user

well I have done many experiments with sugar candy and solid rocket fuels but I wanted to know if potassium would oxidize liquids.

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Kiteman (author)WastelandWilly2014-11-23

Potassium nitrate mixed with a liquid fuel is one thing, and one thing only: a bomb. Put it in a rocket casing, and it's a pipe bomb.

Mix it in the UK, you're breaking several laws before you even light the fuse. Light it, and you're looking at jail time.

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Toga_Dan (author)Kiteman2014-11-24

usually in a liquid fuel rocket, the oxidizer is separate from the fuel.

the only analogous solid+liquid system i can think of is the solidox welding torch. doing somethin similar for a rocket might take some serious engineering.

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gizmologist (author)Toga_Dan2014-12-15

The Solidox welding torch did not use a solid oxidizer. It used a burning solid pellet to produce gaseous oxygen for the torch to use.

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Toga_Dan (author)gizmologist2014-12-15

that burning solid pellet was 90% sodium chlorate, a strong oxidizer.

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WastelandWilly (author)Kiteman2014-11-23

good think I don't live in the UK then

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Kiteman (author)WastelandWilly2014-11-23

Are you sure that your local police will be happy that you are cooking up a version of the mixture most popular with the world's terrorists?

There is no legitimate use for a nitrate/liquid fuel mixture.

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WastelandWilly (author)Kiteman2014-11-23

Are you sure you are not confused with the Ammonium nitrate/liquid fuel mixture?

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Kiteman (author)WastelandWilly2014-12-11

(I missed this comment when it was made)

No, I'm not confusing it, that's why I said "a version" - mixing up any kind of amfo will bring you to the notice of secuity forces anywhere on the planet.

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user

Even if it does - how do you want to mix it?

There is a reason why we have solid fuel and liquid fuel rocket engines - but not a mix.

If want to mix solid with liquid than usually the oxidizer is the liquid, like a salami rocket using nitrous oxide.

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Downunder35m (author)2014-12-10

In theory (was stupid enough to test it a few years back) you can melt the nitrate at around 350° celsius and pour it into a tubular mold that has a hole throug it.

The fuel goes under high pressure through this hole and will cause a very intense reaction.

Downside is you have to include a chemical "heating system" to get the upper part of the nitrate to almost boiling point before starting the fuel.

I also means that you have to have extremely precise measurements for averything as you need to calculate the pressures and expected temperatures inside this nitrate tube.

If all goes well 100% you get a rocket that goes like stink, make only the slightest mistake or mis-calculation and all you have is a massive pipe bomb exploding in front of you.

For these exact reasons noone bother to use a system like this as there are plenty of alternatives available that are considered to be safe and working perfectly.

By the way, all suitable liquid fuels that I could consider "usable" for this are either highly toxic, very harmful or even in trace amounts a disaster for the enviroment.
I would say unless for the fun of talking about it this topic could be closed and marked as too dangerous ;)

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Toga_Dan (author)Downunder35m2014-12-12

"when all has been said and done, more will have been said than done"

its good to talk about this stuff, partly to know what not to do! ;)

think i' ll start a new thread.. MOST DANGEROUS STUFF YOU'VE DONE.

according to results, SPORTS is top of my list.

according to statistics, DRIVING is pretty risky...

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gizmologist (author)2014-12-10

Has no one here heard of hybrid rocket engines? They mix solid fuel with liquid oxidizer, usually Nitrous Oxide. However, liquid fuel with solid oxidizer does not sound like a good idea. The oxidizer is actually the dangerous stuff, and having it in a tank makes it much more controllable.

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Toga_Dan (author)gizmologist2014-12-10

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb...

Oh, yeah. I'd forgotten about those. I wonder what would happen if a similar device was made with fuel and ox reversed. .. I wouldn't mind watching that experiment-- through a good telescope! Not touching it with a 10 ft pole, tho.

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gizmologist (author)Toga_Dan2014-12-10

Riding rockets is dangerous even on a good day. If you're not involved in the launch, use that telescope.

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caitlinsdad (author)2014-11-22

Depends on what you are oxidizing. What does your chemistry book say?

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