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Byproducts from messed up gun powder

  1. Jan 26, 2007 #1
    Then you make black powder with KNO3 + S + C and if your ratios are abit messed up.
    Can somebody please answer these 2 weird questions for me?

    What’s the white stuff forming then the messed up mixture burns, it’s like ceramic of something

    And something is extremely slippery if you clean it with water and it also smells like a no.2
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2007 #2


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    Slippery stuff is potassium sulfide or oxide or hydroxide or carbonate depending on how long it has been exposed to air. If the slipperiness goes away when you wear gloves and get the stuff wet, it is most definitely a basic potassium salt. The slippery feel is your skin dissolving in water... feels slippery. Later they will be chapped and raw. No. 2 smell (poo?) is probably potassium sulfide reacting with water to give off H2S.

    I don't know what the "ceramic" residue is unless you are using agricultural sulfur which might be cut with talc or clay. Burning that would probably turn that anticaking agent into a ceramic.

    You can avoid all of the whitish, slippery, stinky residue (and chapped hands) by using ammonium nitrate instead of saltpeter.
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