Test Tree Stump Remover for Chlorates, Nitrates or Metabisulfites




About: NurdRage is a dedicate group of science nerds trying to further amateur science with direct how-to instructions in video format. We saw what was already online and we thought "we could do better".....

How to test stump remover for potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate, or sodium metabisulfite.

All of these chemicals are useful and stump removers can be an easy to obtain source for them. The stump remover SHOULD be labeled. But if it isn't you can perform these tests.

First mix an equal portion of sugar and stump remover and add sulfuric acid. This might cause the mixture to catch fire (add more acid if it doesn't go at first). If it does, it's most likely potassium or sodium chlorate (usually potassium).

If it doesn't light with sulfuric acid, then try torching it. If it starts to burn on it's own, then it's potassium nitrate.

To be absolutely certain, you can run the nitrate test we already showed in a previous video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5M3rUqaEYs

If it's sodium metabisulfite, it won't burn with sugar under any circumstances. To confirm it's metabisulfite, in a separate container of 10mL of water add 1gram of the stump remover and 0.5 grams of iodine from one of our previous videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F_kPXbi2D8

If it is sodium metabisulfite it will fizz and dissolve as seen in the video.

Once you've identified the stump remover you can start doing experiments!

Chlorate - Make fire without matches: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgh76gPSg3M

Chlorate - fire storm in a test tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJbllSaj_L4

Nitrates - Make nitric acid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yE7v4wkuZU

Metabisulfite - Make Sulfuric Acid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okvvD3-DF9U



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    6 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Most stump removers are bisulfates, not metabisulfites. I have never found one specified by MSDS to be any higher in concentrations.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Strange, all the ones i got were largely metabisulfite.

    But if the ones you got were just bisulfates then in that case you're outta luck in terms of stump removers. But don't worry, you can obtain sodium or potassium metabisulfite from some home textile companies, since it's used for dyeing. It's also sold for home brewing to stop fermentation at a particular point.

    If you're still having trouble obtaining metabisulfite it can be made directly by bubbling sulfur dioxide into sodium or potassium hydroxide. It won't be pure, put you can just adjust the amount you use,


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Where could I find a large amount of stump remover? Local stores don't sell any...


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great video. I have used stump remover to make my own model rocket fuel. I would love to see a video of what rocket fuels you could come up with.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Well done, this is extremely helpful to me. Thanks so much!