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Would it be possible and/or probable to achieve combustion by adding a small amount of water to a specified powder mixture? Answered

I've been looking at instructables for the past few months but only recently joined.something that really interested was an instructable about creating fire from a drop of water https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Start-Fire-with-Water/ and i thought that that was so cool. But, some of the comments suggested that one of the substances used, NH4, or Ammonium Nitrate, was now illegal. Is there possibly a better way of having that same type of powder that when it comes in contact with water, it will light on fire? If so, please tell me or give me a link to something else that will tell me how to do so (I don't even know if that actually was ammonium nitrate, but that is what the creator said.).


take a reusable ice pack and open it. be careful it can react with the humidiy of the air. best used in dry areas like california/nevada. not to be used when its snowy _


9 years ago

Here are things I know of: 1) Zinc, Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Nitrate (as per the instructable) 2) Aluminum and Iodine (as per Kiteman's link) 3) Sodium Peroxide and assorted fuels (ie sugar) (Sodium peroxide reacts with water to make hot oxygen, which will cause lots of things to burn.) 4) Alkali metals, especially Potassium (depends on size of reactants. Potassium was a an old magician's trick, in tiny pieces with tiny amounts of water. Such small pieces of sodium (for example) might only fizz...) All of these use chemicals that are pretty hard to find. The zinc/ammonium nitrate version is probably easiest, despite new regulations about the ammonium nitrate (which mostly affect relatively large amounts being sold specifically as pyrotechnics/rocketry supplies.)

two things come to mind, you could add water to a piece of lithium metal, this would produce lithium hydroxide liquid and hydrogen gas that would burn, infact the reaction typically produces enough heat to ignite the hydrogen gas in air and produce a flame.
the second is used in a miners lamp. add water to calcium carbide and it produces acetylene gas which is flamable. check out this link.


Sorry, but i think this is funny. I am pretty sure that hydrogen explodes, instead of burns. The oxygen in the air is what is being burned.

Hydrogen (in this situation) might burn, but it's more likely with Na or K. Oxygen doesn't burn, it is involved in other things burning. And ammonium nitrate is NH4+NO3-


Pottassium and water would ignite quite well

I should have remembered this reaction, where a flame is ignited by the addition on a drop or two of water to a mixture of aluminium and iodine.

Oh yes, that produces a very similar flame as the potassium permanganate and glycerin reaction, IIRC

Many anhydrous chemicals get super hot when they come in contact with moisture/water.

Yeah i had no idea what this post was about until i read into it. Needs to be organized better if you want people to actually care.

If you give a hint as to what your topic is about either via a more complete title, or a thumbnail image, you will get more responses.