Discussion:
re-post: Another way to the potassium nitrate
(too old to reply)
James Dudley
2004-01-19 20:06:00 UTC
Permalink
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.

Ejoy,
James D.
------------

One of the most commonly asked questions I see on the internet is ³how
can
I get potassium nitrate²? The obvious answer is ³buy it from a
pyrotechnic chemical supply company². However, a lot of people don¹t
seem
to want to go that route... perhaps they are afraid of paper trails,
perhaps they are underage, perhaps perhaps perhaps... Whatever the
reason, they want to get it in a different way. Some people are lucky
-
they can find it at an agricultural supply house. K-power is a brand
of
potassium nitrate that often sells for between $15 to $20 per 50 pound
bag. One has to mill it, but it¹s cheap! However, not all stores
that
sell fertilizer stock potassium nitrate, and many won¹t order it.
Thus,
these people are often compelled to buy it from pharmacies at
exorbitant
prices, or try to extract it from stump remover or even from fecal
matter. It was obvious that a better source was needed.

The answer can be found in two other common agricultural chemicals -
potash and ammonium nitrate. I called three garden places and all of
them had these two chemicals. The prices are cheap - at the time of
this
writing I can get potash for $5.10/50 pound bag, and ammonium nitrate
for
$8.99/50 pound bag. One should be able to make around 55 to 60 pounds
of
potassium nitrate for around $14, plus labor, plus heating costs.

The process relies on a bit of elegant chemistry. Potash is
potassium
carbonate. When potassium carbonate is dissolved in water, it largely
disassociates to potassium ions and carbonate ions. The same is true
of
ammonium nitrate. Thus, a solution of potash and ammonium nitrate
will
consist of four different types of ions - potassium, ammonium, nitrate
and
carbonate. One can get the same mixture by dissolving potassium
nitrate
and ammonium carbonate. Thus, the solution can be viewed as some
sort of
mixture of all four chemicals - potassium carbonate (K2CO3) ,
potassium
nitrate (KNO3) , ammonium carbonate ((NH4)2CO3) and ammonium nitrate
(NH4NO3). It can be said that all four compounds are in equilibrium,
thusly:

K2CO3 + 2 * NH4NO3 <-- --> 2 * KNO3 + (NH4)2CO3

Long ago a chemist name Le Chatelier observed that when an equilibrium
is
disturbed, the system adjusts to re-establish the equilibrium. Thus,
if
one removes one of the components in the equation, a reaction occurs
and
more is created. For example, if one had an equilibrium solution of
the
four compounds shown above, and removed the ammonium carbonate, then
more
ammonium carbonate would be generated by the reaction of potassium
carbonate and ammonium nitrate. This would generate more ammonium
carbonate, but it would also generate more potassium nitrate. If one
could remove all of the ammonium carbonate, then the final solution
would
contain nothing but ptassium nitrate!

Fortunately, it is actually easy to do just that! Ammonium carbonate
decomposes to ammonia, carbon dioxide, and water at temperatures above
60
degrees Centigrade (140 F). Thus, dissolving potash and ammonium
nitrate
in water, and then bringing it up to the boiling point will cause
ammonia
and carbon dioxide to boil off, leaving behind water and potassium
nitrate.

The amount of potash and ammonium nitrate should be ³stoichiometric²,
i.e., there should be two molecules of ammonium nitrate for every
molecule
of potash. That can be accomplished by using the molecular weights
to
the calculate the weights of chemicals that will contain the
appropriate
ratios of molecules. However, there is one tricky part - both
ammonium
nitrate and potash absorb variable amounts of water. Thus, the
starting
materials must be assayed for their water content. This can be done
by
weighing out 100 grams of each compound and placing it in an oven at
about
150 degrees C (300 F). The samples are weighed every hour until the
weight stops changing. This allows one to calculate the percentage of
water, and to adjust the amounts of the starting materials as needed.
This can be done as such - let us say that it was found that the
potash
contained 16% water (a typical number). To determine the adjustment
factor, one takes 100/(100-water percentage) = 100/84 = 1.19 Thus,
to
obtain 250 grams of anhydrous potash, one would take 250 * 1.19 = 298
grams of ³wet² potash (one won¹t see or feel the water).

The appropriate ratios for the weights of anhydrous ammonium nitrate
and
potash are 160 grams and 138 grams respectively (these must be
adjusted
for water content). The room temperature solubilities of ammonium
nitrate and potash are about 130 grams/100 mililiters and 115
grams/100
mililiters respectively.

This idea was tested in two experiments. In the first laboratory
scale
experiment 169 grams of ammonium nitrate (which had been found to
contain
5% water) were dissolved in about 150 ml of water, and 164 grams of
potash
were dissolved in 150 ml of water. (Remember, the solubilities given
above are for anhydrous compounds, and so the water is not factored
into
the equation to determine the minimal amount of water needed.) When
ammonium nitrate dissolves in water it takes up heat, so the solution
gets
very cold (this is the basis for some instant ice-packs). The
solutions
were both warmed to about 50 degrees C, and then mixed in a large
beaker. The odor of ammonia was immediately evident. The beaker was
placed in a fume hood. The solution was then heated and stirred by
hand.
At about 60 degrees C a few small bubbles appeared, and at 80 degrees
C
the bubbles were forming rapidly. The solution appeared to be
boiling,
even though the temperature was far below the boiling point of water.
Heating was continued, and over the next half hour, the temperature
stayed
around 80 C. After that time, the rate of gas bubble formation
slowed
down and the temperature of the solution rose to 100 C, at which point
a
more normal looking boiling commenced. The volume of the solution
decreased steadily over 30 minutes, during which time the temperature
of
the solution raised to 113 C. At this point, the volume was around
100
ml, and a large rime of crystals was beginning to form around the
surface
of the boiling solution. The beaker was removed from the heat, and
allowed to stand for a minute, after which 100 ml of denatured alcohol
was
added to cause rapid crystalization of the potassium nitrate. The
solution was allowed to cool to room temperature, and the crystals
were
collected via vacuum filtration, and dryed in an oven at 150 C. The
final yeild was 194 grams of very finely divided pure-white
microcrystaline potassium nitrate (96% of the theoretical amount of
202
grams). The crystals were tested for ammonium ions by the
KOH/litmus/evolved-gas method, and for carbonate by attempted
precipitation of barium carbonate via barium chloride. Both tests
showed
less than 1% contamination.

The success of this laboratory experiment led to a ³production scale²
test. In this experiment 7.4 pounds (3.36 Kg) of ammonium nitrate
were
dissolved in 1 gallon of water in a 20 quart stainless steel pot, and
the
pot was placed on a grill over an outdoor woodfire and warmed to 50 C.
An
electric heater could probably be used as well. While that solution
was
warming, 7.2 pounds (3.28 Kg) of potash were placed in a 1 gallon
plastic
milk jug, and 2/3 gallon of hot tap water was added. The jug was
shaken,
and the undissolved potash was allowed to settle. The potash was
poured
into the hot ammonium nitrate solution, and the choking odor of
ammonia
gas caused the experimenter to retreat upwind at a rapid pace. The
rest
of the potash was dissolved in a similar fashion, and was added to the
stainless steel pot at arms length while standing upwind. The fire
was
stoked and the pot was allowed to heat up and begin the evolution of
ammonia and carbon dioxide. Once the rapid evolution of ammonia
commenced, the experimenter amused himself by seeing how far downwind
he
could detect ammonia with his nose. The odor was unbearable at
distance
at 50¹ downwind, and could easily be detected up to 500¹ away.
Obviously
this procedure on this scale is NOT suitable for normal urban
settings.

After about 3 hours the odor of ammonia diminished to a barely
noticable
level, and the temperature of the solution was found to be about 104
C.
The solution was allowed to boil until it appeared to be a little more
than 2 quarts. At this point the temperature as 110 C. The solution
was
allowed to cool and sit overnight. The next morning the mess in the
bottom of the pot was broken up using a heavy oak 2by2, and poured
into a
pillow case. The crystals were wrung dry, and allowed to dry in a
shallow
pan in the sun. After 2 days, they were weighed. The final yeild was
8.1
pounds (about 90% of total possible yield) of a mixture of large and
small
potassium nitrate crystals. The material would obviously have to be
milled before use. The material was tested for ammonium and
carbonate
ions, and was found to contain a slight contamination with carbonate
ions
(perhaps 1%).

The process is not terribly difficult, and could even be interupted
part
way through to make CIA black powder or non-milled Chrysanthemum type
mixes. For example, once the solution has been boiled to eliminate
the
ammonium and carbonate ions and concentrated to a minimal volume, it
should contain only potassium nitrate. Rather than isolate the
potassium
nitrate, one could add charcoal and sulfur, followed by a period of
boiling and then addition of alcohol (see articles in ³Best of AFN
II²).

Safety Notes: The process releases choking and poisonous gases. Do
not
breath the gas. This process HAS to be done outside or in a
laboratory
fumehood. Normal kitchen vent hoods would be inadequate to remove the
ammonia gas. Note that this also makes this a little hard to do on
the
sly in large quantities. The potash solution is caustic, and hot
concentrated potash solutions might cause chemical burns. As always,
rinse all chemical spills with copious quantities of running water,
and if
burning or irritation persists, see a physician. Ammonia readily
attacks
copper, so one cannot use brass or copper kettles. Potash solutions
attack aluminum. Finally, the Merck index remarks that while ammonia
is
generally regarded as non-flammable, that mixtures of air and ammonia
will
explode if ignited under favorable conditions. However, since the
ammonia
explosions only occur when the concetration is between 13% to 79% in
normal air, it is very unlikely that such huge concentrations will be
formed, especially as the ammonia will always be accompanied by equal
amounts of non-flammable carbon dioxide. Be aware.


(C) 1998 Tom Perigrin
Unauthorized commerical or webpage use prohibited
KN03
2004-01-19 21:45:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Dudley
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.
Ejoy,
James D.
Tom's essay, which I don't quote here due to its length, details the process
for preparing KNO3 from ammonium nitrate and potash fertilizers.

It was my impression that, ever since the Oklahoma City incident, it is much
more difficult to acquire ammonium nitrate than it used to be. On the other
hand, I've had no trouble acquiring KNO3 in several local garden stores.
According to the copyright date following the text, Tom's essay was written in
1998, well after OK City, so I'm a little surprised by the implication that
KNO3 is hard to get. It's not.


-----
James Dudley
2004-01-20 02:56:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by KN03
Post by James Dudley
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.
Ejoy,
James D.
According to the copyright date following the text, Tom's essay was written in
1998, well after OK City, so I'm a little surprised by the implication that
KNO3 is hard to get. It's not.
It realy depends on where you live. I live in centeral Alabama, in a
comunity where agriculture is a major part of the local economy.
Interestingly, I have searched high and low for a source of
agricultural potassium nitrate, but have not found a single supplier
who has heard of this "common agricultural chemical". However, every
supplier in my area readily stocks ammonium nitrate and potash
fertilizers.

James D.
Piccolo Pete
2004-01-20 06:01:13 UTC
Permalink
Is Alabama a good place to grow tomatoes and cantalopes?
Post by James Dudley
Post by KN03
Post by James Dudley
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.
Ejoy,
James D.
According to the copyright date following the text, Tom's essay was written in
1998, well after OK City, so I'm a little surprised by the implication that
KNO3 is hard to get. It's not.
It realy depends on where you live. I live in centeral Alabama, in a
comunity where agriculture is a major part of the local economy.
Interestingly, I have searched high and low for a source of
agricultural potassium nitrate, but have not found a single supplier
who has heard of this "common agricultural chemical". However, every
supplier in my area readily stocks ammonium nitrate and potash
fertilizers.
James D.
donald j haarmann
2004-01-20 21:49:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Dudley
It realy depends on where you live. I live in centeral Alabama, in a
comunity where agriculture is a major part of the local economy.
Interestingly, I have searched high and low for a source of
agricultural potassium nitrate, but have not found a single supplier
who has heard of this "common agricultural chemical". However, every
supplier in my area readily stocks ammonium nitrate and potash
fertilizers.
James D.
K nitrate is ..... simply .... to expensive as compared w/ ammonium nitrate!
--
donald j haarmann - independently dubious
Johnnie Paul
2004-01-21 04:25:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Dudley
It realy depends on where you live. I live in centeral Alabama, in a
comunity where agriculture is a major part of the local economy.
Interestingly, I have searched high and low for a source of
agricultural potassium nitrate, but have not found a single supplier
who has heard of this "common agricultural chemical". However, every
supplier in my area readily stocks ammonium nitrate and potash
fertilizers.
James D.
James,

I live in North Alabama, and have had luck finding agri-grade kno3 at
the Farmers Co-op. The co-op here in Madison county is currently out
till spring, but last spring the co-op stocked well over 200 50 pound
bags.

I have one of those bags left in my supply, made by SQM of North
America. It is Technical Grade-greenhouse Kno3 @ 99.3% pure...this per
a phone call to SQM earlier today. A salesman told me the only
difference between the SQM tech grade and the Fertiliser grade is the
packaging...it is all the same, except for refined and industrial
grade also sold at SQM, which are 99.8% and 95% pure respectfully.

I have a partial bag of K-Power, that has a light tan colored coat on
the crystals, which keeps it from "caking"...this coating is a major
propellant performance killer...I am currently looking for a method to
rid the kno3 of the anti-cake coat.

Keep my email address in mind, and come visit me in the spring, and
we'll load your truck out at $15.95 per 50 pound bags...

Johnnie Paul
James Dudley
2004-01-21 18:57:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Johnnie Paul
Post by James Dudley
It realy depends on where you live. I live in centeral Alabama, in a
comunity where agriculture is a major part of the local economy.
Interestingly, I have searched high and low for a source of
agricultural potassium nitrate, but have not found a single supplier
who has heard of this "common agricultural chemical". However, every
supplier in my area readily stocks ammonium nitrate and potash
fertilizers.
James D.
James,
I live in North Alabama, and have had luck finding agri-grade kno3 at
the Farmers Co-op. The co-op here in Madison county is currently out
till spring, but last spring the co-op stocked well over 200 50 pound
bags.
I have one of those bags left in my supply, made by SQM of North
a phone call to SQM earlier today. A salesman told me the only
difference between the SQM tech grade and the Fertiliser grade is the
packaging...it is all the same, except for refined and industrial
grade also sold at SQM, which are 99.8% and 95% pure respectfully.
I have a partial bag of K-Power, that has a light tan colored coat on
the crystals, which keeps it from "caking"...this coating is a major
propellant performance killer...I am currently looking for a method to
rid the kno3 of the anti-cake coat.
Keep my email address in mind, and come visit me in the spring, and
we'll load your truck out at $15.95 per 50 pound bags...
Johnnie Paul
Sounds good to me! I have been ordering my potassium nitrate from an
online garden center for nearly $25 per 50 pound bag. At the moment,
my nitrate needs are rather modest and 100-150 pounds will last me
quite a while, but $16 for 50# sounds like a good excuse to load up on
some more!
Deathmaster
2004-01-24 22:19:53 UTC
Permalink
Do you mind giving me the web address where you order your KNO3? I would
rather order it online then make it or buying little bottles of 100g for $6
at the local pharmacy.

Thanks
DM
Post by James Dudley
Post by Johnnie Paul
Post by James Dudley
It realy depends on where you live. I live in centeral Alabama, in a
comunity where agriculture is a major part of the local economy.
Interestingly, I have searched high and low for a source of
agricultural potassium nitrate, but have not found a single supplier
who has heard of this "common agricultural chemical". However, every
supplier in my area readily stocks ammonium nitrate and potash
fertilizers.
James D.
James,
I live in North Alabama, and have had luck finding agri-grade kno3 at
the Farmers Co-op. The co-op here in Madison county is currently out
till spring, but last spring the co-op stocked well over 200 50 pound
bags.
I have one of those bags left in my supply, made by SQM of North
a phone call to SQM earlier today. A salesman told me the only
difference between the SQM tech grade and the Fertiliser grade is the
packaging...it is all the same, except for refined and industrial
grade also sold at SQM, which are 99.8% and 95% pure respectfully.
I have a partial bag of K-Power, that has a light tan colored coat on
the crystals, which keeps it from "caking"...this coating is a major
propellant performance killer...I am currently looking for a method to
rid the kno3 of the anti-cake coat.
Keep my email address in mind, and come visit me in the spring, and
we'll load your truck out at $15.95 per 50 pound bags...
Johnnie Paul
Sounds good to me! I have been ordering my potassium nitrate from an
online garden center for nearly $25 per 50 pound bag. At the moment,
my nitrate needs are rather modest and 100-150 pounds will last me
quite a while, but $16 for 50# sounds like a good excuse to load up on
some more!
James Dudley
2004-01-25 02:18:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Deathmaster
Do you mind giving me the web address where you order your KNO3? I would
rather order it online then make it or buying little bottles of 100g for $6
at the local pharmacy.
Thanks
DM
This is where I order my potassium nitrate.
http://www.hummert.com/catalog.asp?C=66&SC=7&P=1540
Harry Conover
2004-01-20 05:32:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Dudley
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.
Ejoy,
James D.
Huh? It is my current impression is that KNO3 is readily available at
$2.00/lb per pound or less, and is not subject to hazmat fees since it
can be readily shipped by ordinary mail as a ORM-D Consumer Commodity
under current USPO regulations.

Then too if you are really hard pressed to buy KNO3, there is never a
week that goes by where quantities ranging from 2-lbs to 50 or more
lbs are not being auctioned on eBay at prices typically less than $2
or $3 per pound.

I really can't imagine any reason that anyone here in the US would be
tempted to synthesize such a readily available chemical, except
possibly for the challenge and satisfaction of having done so.

Harry C.
Harry Conover
2004-01-20 05:32:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Dudley
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.
Ejoy,
James D.
Huh? It is my current impression is that KNO3 is readily available at
$2.00/lb per pound or less, and is not subject to hazmat fees since it
can be readily shipped by ordinary mail as a ORM-D Consumer Commodity
under current USPO regulations.

Then too if you are really hard pressed to buy KNO3, there is never a
week that goes by where quantities ranging from 2-lbs to 50 or more
lbs are not being auctioned on eBay at prices typically less than $2
or $3 per pound.

I really can't imagine any reason that anyone here in the US would be
tempted to synthesize such a readily available chemical, except
possibly for the challenge and satisfaction of having done so.

Harry C.
James Dudley
2004-01-20 15:45:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Conover
Post by James Dudley
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.
Ejoy,
James D.
Huh? It is my current impression is that KNO3 is readily available at
$2.00/lb per pound or less, and is not subject to hazmat fees since it
can be readily shipped by ordinary mail as a ORM-D Consumer Commodity
under current USPO regulations.
Then too if you are really hard pressed to buy KNO3, there is never a
week that goes by where quantities ranging from 2-lbs to 50 or more
lbs are not being auctioned on eBay at prices typically less than $2
or $3 per pound.
I really can't imagine any reason that anyone here in the US would be
tempted to synthesize such a readily available chemical, except
possibly for the challenge and satisfaction of having done so.
Harry C.
The only reason *I* would consider doing this experiment would be for
the challenge or experience. I did not mean to confuse anyone by
implying that potassium nitrate is impossible to find in the U.S. It's
not, just as KNO3 stated in the previous post. I just thought Tom's
article was an interesting read and figured that others on this NG
would enjoy reading it as well. Sorry if I confused anyone.

James D.
Harry Conover
2004-01-20 19:12:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Dudley
The only reason *I* would consider doing this experiment would be for
the challenge or experience. I did not mean to confuse anyone by
implying that potassium nitrate is impossible to find in the U.S. It's
not, just as KNO3 stated in the previous post. I just thought Tom's
article was an interesting read and figured that others on this NG
would enjoy reading it as well. Sorry if I confused anyone.
James D.
No confusion, but the fact is that if someone is so intent on
obtaining KNO3 without leaving an audit trail, they scare me! :-)

The Tom P post that you quoted is indeed a good read. Better still is
his description of how to make it from urine and fecal matter, which I
understand that he likes to personally demonstrate at Medieval Fairs
and similar period gatherings. (Does anyone have a copy of this to
repost?) Tom's writings are indeed a pleasure to read, and thanks for
posting this one.

Harry C.
P. Lyttle
2004-01-20 20:04:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Conover
Post by James Dudley
The only reason *I* would consider doing this experiment would be for
the challenge or experience. I did not mean to confuse anyone by
implying that potassium nitrate is impossible to find in the U.S. It's
not, just as KNO3 stated in the previous post. I just thought Tom's
article was an interesting read and figured that others on this NG
would enjoy reading it as well. Sorry if I confused anyone.
James D.
No confusion, but the fact is that if someone is so intent on
obtaining KNO3 without leaving an audit trail, they scare me! :-)
The Tom P post that you quoted is indeed a good read. Better still is
his description of how to make it from urine and fecal matter, which I
understand that he likes to personally demonstrate at Medieval Fairs
and similar period gatherings. (Does anyone have a copy of this to
repost?) Tom's writings are indeed a pleasure to read, and thanks for
posting this one.
Harry C.
as allways, Google is your friend

try "faire" as the search string. the subject was 'KNO3 from soil?'

P. Lyttle.
donald j haarmann
2004-01-20 21:47:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Conover
The Tom P post that you quoted is indeed a good read. Better still is
his description of how to make it from urine and fecal matter, which I
understand that he likes to personally demonstrate at Medieval Fairs
and similar period gatherings. (Does anyone have a copy of this to
repost?) Tom's writings are indeed a pleasure to read, and thanks for
posting this one.
Harry C.
As previouly noted www.deja.com will find it. Here is another file.......


digesteth, fermenteth, and ripeneth

The old method of obtaining saltpetre was to collect vegetable and animal refuse
containing nitrogen, the sweepings of slaughter- houses, weeds, etc., into heaps
and to mix this with limestone, old mortar, earth and ashes. These heaps were
sheltered from the rain, and kept moist from time to time with runnings from
stables and other urine.

As late as in the reign of James I (1624), we find in an indenture between the
King and Thomas Warricke, Peter Sparke, Michael Townshend and John Fells,
the statement that " for making of the saltpetre which hath been formerly and
now is made it has been found a matter of mere necessity to dig houses, cellars,
vaults, stables, dovehouses and such like places, wherewith divers of his
Majesty's subjects have found themselves grieved. " We are also informed that
the conveyance of the liquors, vessels, tubs, ashes, etc, from place to place in
carts had been a frequent source of nuisance and litigation.

The above persons purporting to have invented a new process for making
saltpetre undertake to make it " as good and perfect as any hath formerly been,
and shall be vented at cheaper and easier rates than formerly his Majesty or his
loving subjects have paid for-the same, which said saltpetre as His Majesty is
informed is to be or may be made of an artificial mixture or composition of chalk,
all sorts of limestone and lime, marl, divers minerals, and other nitrous mines
and other kind of ordinary earth, street dirt, or rubbish, stable dung, emptying of
vaults, the excrements of all living creatures, their bodies putrified, all vegetables
putrified or rotted, or the ashes, of them, and these or any of these mixed
together in proportion as they may be most conveniently had, and shall be found
most useful in such places where the said works shall be thought fit to be
erected, which said artificial mixture or composition of any or all the foresaid
ingredients is often times moistened with urine of men and beasts, petre, or
nitrous wells, and springs, and all other concrete juices and blood of all sorts as
can be gotten, and shall be fit and convenient for it, and divers times turned and
removed, by which means the mixture in time digesteth, fermenteth, and
ripeneth, from whence there is engendered the seed or mine of saltpetre which
afterwards is to be extracted with common water, urine, the water of petre or
nitrous wells, and springs, and then either breathed away in the sun or air, or
stoved with gentle heat or boiled with a stronger fire with his proper additament
of ashes, lime, and such like for separating the common salt and other mixtures
naturally growing in the liquor and afterwards refined into perfect saltpetre. "

The King then granted the patentees licence to exercise their invention for a term
of twenty-one years and to set up houses for preparing the artificial earth, etc.

On 26th December of the same year " was issued a proclamation, commanding s
that no dovehouses or cellars be paved, except that part of the cellars where the
wine and beer is laid, in order that the growth of saltpetre might not be
obstructed." (Patent Roll, 22 James I, part 4, No. 9 dorso.)


The Rise and Progress of the British Explosives Industry
Published under the auspices of the:-
VIIth International Congress of Applied Chemistry
E A Brayley Hodgetts editor
Whittaker and Co. London 1909
--
donald j haarmann
-----------------------------
As if ordained by Fate, Nitre, that admirable salt,
hath made as much noise in Philosophy as in
War, all the world being filled with its thunder.

John Mayow
Ttractalus Quinque Medico-Physici, 1674
s
BobC
2004-01-21 01:59:56 UTC
Permalink
Not as colorful as tip's post. (grin)

I seem to recall it also involved 2 women & a stinky situation.

A pity the noise ratio forced some of the most influential members offline.
Post by donald j haarmann
As previouly noted www.deja.com will find it. Here is another file.......
digesteth, fermenteth, and ripeneth
<epic snip>
Jeff
2004-01-21 14:47:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Conover
The Tom P post that you quoted is indeed a good read. Better still is
his description of how to make it from urine and fecal matter, which I
understand that he likes to personally demonstrate at Medieval Fairs
and similar period gatherings. (Does anyone have a copy of this to
repost?) Tom's writings are indeed a pleasure to read, and thanks for
posting this one.
Harry C.
Tom Perigrins KN03 (potassium nitrate)Story

Many years ago, when I was a well muscled young man of my middle 20's,
I belonged to a Rennaisence Faire group called "Clan Collin". This
was a recreationist group that portryed a Scottish Mercenary Army of
the 16'th C. I played the part of the Artillary Officer.

Well, I decided that the Rennaisence Faire was too "prissy". Where
was the offal in the road? Where were the chamber pots? Where was
the raw sewage? So, I decided to re-enact a less salubrious part of
16'th C life. I decided to extract saltpeter from manure and urine,
according to the procedure of Birringucchio (1540).

So, I got a half barrel, put it up on some bales of hay, drilled a
hole in the bottom of the side, and plugged it. Then I went out and
found some well dried horse dung, some oak ashes, and some lime. I
then put a 4-finger thick layer of manure in the barrel, followed by a
2-finger thick layer of ashes, and a 1-finger thick layer of lime. I
repeated that until the barrel was nearly full. Then, that evening,
after the Faire had closed, I had a few selected men of the clan pee
in the pot (this was pre-AIDS). This was allowed to set overnight,
and to begin it's ferment.
*flurp, blub, bubble*

The next Faire day (Sunday) opened to a hot and swealtering day, and
right in the middle of the first fork in the road there was a burley
Scotsman stirring a pot of rather foul smelling yellow-brown liquid.
This gig provided HUGE amusement to me and the Scots all through the
day. For example, there was the Sassenach (Southern English) Officer
who came to inspect what the Scots military was doing - I told him I
was making saltpeter, and before he could realize what was happening,
I had used my hand to scoop out a few unbroken lumps, and deposited
them in his hand. At first he didn't realize anything was "amiss".
After all, they were coated with ashes and lime and looked like
light-weight rocks. But as I described how "this be the most fullsome
earth I could find in the stables", and then as I lifted one up and
broke it open and said "Ach, but they no be broken up enough!", it
dawned on him that he had a handful of ... shit.

There we were, on stage, with several hundred people watching us. His
20'th C person was revolted! He had a handful of horse manure! But
his 16'th C character was "fascinated". So, he poked at it once or
twice, discussed the qualities of the English versus the Scottish
earths, and then dropped it back into the barrel. He leaned towards
me and used my sleeve to wipe off his hand (the least I could do), and
then said in a very quiet voice "Damn you!". All the while my
hangers-on were trying to prevent themselves from visably cracking
up...

But even more fun was the responses of the public! At first they
would be very interested. After all, here is a big burley guy
stirring a pot of something right in the middle of the fork in the
road. This guy WANTS to be noticed! They would come over and I would
launch into my spiel...
but after a while they began to twig. The terms "saltpeter",
"earth", "humours", "waters", and such were almost familar - and after
a while the
color, the ODOR, and the words would all click, and they'd say "you
have a a bucket of SHIT? OH GROSS!". Only a few stayed after they
realized what was in the bucket...

But the MOST fun of the day was in the middle of the hotest part of
the afternoon. Two young women came over to flirt with me (In the
mid-70's I was a competetive bicycler and thus I had good legs under
the kilt, had long flowing hair and beard, and cut a good figure of a
man). These young women were drunk as skunks - it had been a HOT day,
and the ale went down easily.

So, here I am, with well mixed horse manure up to my elbows...
flirting with two lovelies with halter tops and shorts. And it seemed
as if they got into a flirting contest with each other (which I
LOVED!). First they chatted, but then one took her fingers and ran
them up and down the smooth silky looking liquid on my arm. Normally
that would have been a very very provocative gesture, but I had to
tell her what she did. At first she didn't understand... but finally
she did - "you mean that's horse shit?" "Aye, mixed with the waters
of the men of the company"

Suddenly, flirting was NO LONGER on her mind. She pulled back, and
looked as if she might leave, when her companion started laughing at
her distress. This was too much for her. She took her now dirty
fingers and wiped them on the shoulder of her friend. "Well how do
YOU like it?" Suddenly her freind was not so happy either! So she
reached down, and grabbed a handful of the mixture, and flung it at
first one, and hit her full on the halter top, right on her -- shall
we say -- most curvacious anatomy.

In the next 60 seconds things escalated even more. Suddenly liquid
manure and urine was flying in both directions, and screams and curses
were following. I stepped back against the tree behind me, and could
but watch in amazement as they flung handful after handful of foul
filth back and forth. Then they set into pushing and shoving, and
grappling, and ended up wrestling in the dust of the street. This
dust mixed with the handfuls of yellow muck to produce a most amazing
cake on each of them.

All this time the men and women of Clan Collin are howling with
laughter, and can hardly stand for the hilarity of it. I myself am
dumbfounded... I have never had two women fight over me before
(although, I think they were fighting not over me, but rather because
of their rivalry), and certainly I didn't look forward to embracing
the winner if it should come to that. But the fight came to an end,
they parted different ways without a backward glance to me, and I
never saw them again after that (But I did go home that night with
the woman who has been my wife now for one and twenty years, so that
worked out alright).

Finally, I filtered the liquids, and boiled them down, and recieved a
pound of crystals that were contaminated with earthly humors. This
was dissolved in a small amount of boiling water in an iron kettle,
and allowed to cool, and I did recieve three ounces less than a pound
of very light yellow crystals. This was then powdered, and mixed with
those things in those ways that one does (I cannot tell you more, for
that is a guild secret), and it did make a fine and goodly gunpowder.

----- As told by Tom Perigrin

Jeff
Harry Conover
2004-01-24 17:48:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff
Post by Harry Conover
The Tom P post that you quoted is indeed a good read. Better still is
his description of how to make it from urine and fecal matter, which I
understand that he likes to personally demonstrate at Medieval Fairs
and similar period gatherings. (Does anyone have a copy of this to
repost?) Tom's writings are indeed a pleasure to read, and thanks for
posting this one.
Harry C.
Tom Perigrins KN03 (potassium nitrate)Story
Many years ago, when I was a well muscled young man of my middle 20's,
I belonged to a Rennaisence Faire group called "Clan Collin". This
was a recreationist group that portryed a Scottish Mercenary Army of
the 16'th C. I played the part of the Artillary Officer.
Well, I decided that the Rennaisence Faire was too "prissy". Where
was the offal in the road? Where were the chamber pots? Where was
the raw sewage? So, I decided to re-enact a less salubrious part of
16'th C life. I decided to extract saltpeter from manure and urine,
according to the procedure of Birringucchio (1540).
So, I got a half barrel, put it up on some bales of hay, drilled a
hole in the bottom of the side, and plugged it. Then I went out and
found some well dried horse dung, some oak ashes, and some lime. I
then put a 4-finger thick layer of manure in the barrel, followed by a
2-finger thick layer of ashes, and a 1-finger thick layer of lime. I
repeated that until the barrel was nearly full. Then, that evening,
after the Faire had closed, I had a few selected men of the clan pee
in the pot (this was pre-AIDS). This was allowed to set overnight,
and to begin it's ferment.
*flurp, blub, bubble*
The next Faire day (Sunday) opened to a hot and swealtering day, and
right in the middle of the first fork in the road there was a burley
Scotsman stirring a pot of rather foul smelling yellow-brown liquid.
This gig provided HUGE amusement to me and the Scots all through the
day. For example, there was the Sassenach (Southern English) Officer
who came to inspect what the Scots military was doing - I told him I
was making saltpeter, and before he could realize what was happening,
I had used my hand to scoop out a few unbroken lumps, and deposited
them in his hand. At first he didn't realize anything was "amiss".
After all, they were coated with ashes and lime and looked like
light-weight rocks. But as I described how "this be the most fullsome
earth I could find in the stables", and then as I lifted one up and
broke it open and said "Ach, but they no be broken up enough!", it
dawned on him that he had a handful of ... shit.
There we were, on stage, with several hundred people watching us. His
20'th C person was revolted! He had a handful of horse manure! But
his 16'th C character was "fascinated". So, he poked at it once or
twice, discussed the qualities of the English versus the Scottish
earths, and then dropped it back into the barrel. He leaned towards
me and used my sleeve to wipe off his hand (the least I could do), and
then said in a very quiet voice "Damn you!". All the while my
hangers-on were trying to prevent themselves from visably cracking
up...
But even more fun was the responses of the public! At first they
would be very interested. After all, here is a big burley guy
stirring a pot of something right in the middle of the fork in the
road. This guy WANTS to be noticed! They would come over and I would
launch into my spiel...
but after a while they began to twig. The terms "saltpeter",
"earth", "humours", "waters", and such were almost familar - and after
a while the
color, the ODOR, and the words would all click, and they'd say "you
have a a bucket of SHIT? OH GROSS!". Only a few stayed after they
realized what was in the bucket...
But the MOST fun of the day was in the middle of the hotest part of
the afternoon. Two young women came over to flirt with me (In the
mid-70's I was a competetive bicycler and thus I had good legs under
the kilt, had long flowing hair and beard, and cut a good figure of a
man). These young women were drunk as skunks - it had been a HOT day,
and the ale went down easily.
So, here I am, with well mixed horse manure up to my elbows...
flirting with two lovelies with halter tops and shorts. And it seemed
as if they got into a flirting contest with each other (which I
LOVED!). First they chatted, but then one took her fingers and ran
them up and down the smooth silky looking liquid on my arm. Normally
that would have been a very very provocative gesture, but I had to
tell her what she did. At first she didn't understand... but finally
she did - "you mean that's horse shit?" "Aye, mixed with the waters
of the men of the company"
Suddenly, flirting was NO LONGER on her mind. She pulled back, and
looked as if she might leave, when her companion started laughing at
her distress. This was too much for her. She took her now dirty
fingers and wiped them on the shoulder of her friend. "Well how do
YOU like it?" Suddenly her freind was not so happy either! So she
reached down, and grabbed a handful of the mixture, and flung it at
first one, and hit her full on the halter top, right on her -- shall
we say -- most curvacious anatomy.
In the next 60 seconds things escalated even more. Suddenly liquid
manure and urine was flying in both directions, and screams and curses
were following. I stepped back against the tree behind me, and could
but watch in amazement as they flung handful after handful of foul
filth back and forth. Then they set into pushing and shoving, and
grappling, and ended up wrestling in the dust of the street. This
dust mixed with the handfuls of yellow muck to produce a most amazing
cake on each of them.
All this time the men and women of Clan Collin are howling with
laughter, and can hardly stand for the hilarity of it. I myself am
dumbfounded... I have never had two women fight over me before
(although, I think they were fighting not over me, but rather because
of their rivalry), and certainly I didn't look forward to embracing
the winner if it should come to that. But the fight came to an end,
they parted different ways without a backward glance to me, and I
never saw them again after that (But I did go home that night with
the woman who has been my wife now for one and twenty years, so that
worked out alright).
Finally, I filtered the liquids, and boiled them down, and recieved a
pound of crystals that were contaminated with earthly humors. This
was dissolved in a small amount of boiling water in an iron kettle,
and allowed to cool, and I did recieve three ounces less than a pound
of very light yellow crystals. This was then powdered, and mixed with
those things in those ways that one does (I cannot tell you more, for
that is a guild secret), and it did make a fine and goodly gunpowder.
----- As told by Tom Perigrin
Jeff
Thanks for reposting this Jeff. It's seems even better on the second
read than the first! :-) Out of idle curiousity, do you recall what
year Tom posted this?

His departure from being a regular contributor to this newsgroup was a
serious loss to every reader.

Harry C.
FirmAbs6pk
2004-01-20 20:24:38 UTC
Permalink
my best source for KNO3 is stump remover...the stuff i buy is nearly
pure potassium nitrate as it is listed as the only ingredient and the
quality of the BP I make from it is nearly the same as with the KNO3
from skylighter... skylighter is still less expensive and is
pre-milled with some anti-cake... so its much easier to work with.

~Firm
Post by James Dudley
Post by Harry Conover
Post by James Dudley
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.
Ejoy,
James D.
Huh? It is my current impression is that KNO3 is readily available at
$2.00/lb per pound or less, and is not subject to hazmat fees since it
can be readily shipped by ordinary mail as a ORM-D Consumer Commodity
under current USPO regulations.
Then too if you are really hard pressed to buy KNO3, there is never a
week that goes by where quantities ranging from 2-lbs to 50 or more
lbs are not being auctioned on eBay at prices typically less than $2
or $3 per pound.
I really can't imagine any reason that anyone here in the US would be
tempted to synthesize such a readily available chemical, except
possibly for the challenge and satisfaction of having done so.
Harry C.
The only reason *I* would consider doing this experiment would be for
the challenge or experience. I did not mean to confuse anyone by
implying that potassium nitrate is impossible to find in the U.S. It's
not, just as KNO3 stated in the previous post. I just thought Tom's
article was an interesting read and figured that others on this NG
would enjoy reading it as well. Sorry if I confused anyone.
James D.
Deathmaster
2004-01-24 01:06:21 UTC
Permalink
I can get saltpeter for $5 at the drug store... i baught close to 300 cans
of it this weekend.
Post by James Dudley
I was browsing the archives and came across this very informative post
by Tom Peregrin. It should be of great use to any amateur pyro who is
in search of potassium nitrate, but is restricted by shipping, hazmat
prices or unavailability.
Ejoy,
James D.
------------
One of the most commonly asked questions I see on the internet is ³how
can
I get potassium nitrate²? The obvious answer is ³buy it from a
pyrotechnic chemical supply company². However, a lot of people don¹t
seem
to want to go that route... perhaps they are afraid of paper trails,
perhaps they are underage, perhaps perhaps perhaps... Whatever the
reason, they want to get it in a different way. Some people are lucky
-
they can find it at an agricultural supply house. K-power is a brand
of
potassium nitrate that often sells for between $15 to $20 per 50 pound
bag. One has to mill it, but it¹s cheap! However, not all stores
that
sell fertilizer stock potassium nitrate, and many won¹t order it.
Thus,
these people are often compelled to buy it from pharmacies at
exorbitant
prices, or try to extract it from stump remover or even from fecal
matter. It was obvious that a better source was needed.
The answer can be found in two other common agricultural chemicals -
potash and ammonium nitrate. I called three garden places and all of
them had these two chemicals. The prices are cheap - at the time of
this
writing I can get potash for $5.10/50 pound bag, and ammonium nitrate
for
$8.99/50 pound bag. One should be able to make around 55 to 60 pounds
of
potassium nitrate for around $14, plus labor, plus heating costs.
The process relies on a bit of elegant chemistry. Potash is
potassium
carbonate. When potassium carbonate is dissolved in water, it largely
disassociates to potassium ions and carbonate ions. The same is true
of
ammonium nitrate. Thus, a solution of potash and ammonium nitrate
will
consist of four different types of ions - potassium, ammonium, nitrate
and
carbonate. One can get the same mixture by dissolving potassium
nitrate
and ammonium carbonate. Thus, the solution can be viewed as some
sort of
mixture of all four chemicals - potassium carbonate (K2CO3) ,
potassium
nitrate (KNO3) , ammonium carbonate ((NH4)2CO3) and ammonium nitrate
(NH4NO3). It can be said that all four compounds are in equilibrium,
K2CO3 + 2 * NH4NO3 <-- --> 2 * KNO3 + (NH4)2CO3
Long ago a chemist name Le Chatelier observed that when an equilibrium
is
disturbed, the system adjusts to re-establish the equilibrium. Thus,
if
one removes one of the components in the equation, a reaction occurs
and
more is created. For example, if one had an equilibrium solution of
the
four compounds shown above, and removed the ammonium carbonate, then
more
ammonium carbonate would be generated by the reaction of potassium
carbonate and ammonium nitrate. This would generate more ammonium
carbonate, but it would also generate more potassium nitrate. If one
could remove all of the ammonium carbonate, then the final solution
would
contain nothing but ptassium nitrate!
Fortunately, it is actually easy to do just that! Ammonium carbonate
decomposes to ammonia, carbon dioxide, and water at temperatures above
60
degrees Centigrade (140 F). Thus, dissolving potash and ammonium
nitrate
in water, and then bringing it up to the boiling point will cause
ammonia
and carbon dioxide to boil off, leaving behind water and potassium
nitrate.
The amount of potash and ammonium nitrate should be ³stoichiometric²,
i.e., there should be two molecules of ammonium nitrate for every
molecule
of potash. That can be accomplished by using the molecular weights
to
the calculate the weights of chemicals that will contain the
appropriate
ratios of molecules. However, there is one tricky part - both
ammonium
nitrate and potash absorb variable amounts of water. Thus, the
starting
materials must be assayed for their water content. This can be done
by
weighing out 100 grams of each compound and placing it in an oven at
about
150 degrees C (300 F). The samples are weighed every hour until the
weight stops changing. This allows one to calculate the percentage of
water, and to adjust the amounts of the starting materials as needed.
This can be done as such - let us say that it was found that the
potash
contained 16% water (a typical number). To determine the adjustment
factor, one takes 100/(100-water percentage) = 100/84 = 1.19 Thus,
to
obtain 250 grams of anhydrous potash, one would take 250 * 1.19 = 298
grams of ³wet² potash (one won¹t see or feel the water).
The appropriate ratios for the weights of anhydrous ammonium nitrate
and
potash are 160 grams and 138 grams respectively (these must be
adjusted
for water content). The room temperature solubilities of ammonium
nitrate and potash are about 130 grams/100 mililiters and 115
grams/100
mililiters respectively.
This idea was tested in two experiments. In the first laboratory
scale
experiment 169 grams of ammonium nitrate (which had been found to
contain
5% water) were dissolved in about 150 ml of water, and 164 grams of
potash
were dissolved in 150 ml of water. (Remember, the solubilities given
above are for anhydrous compounds, and so the water is not factored
into
the equation to determine the minimal amount of water needed.) When
ammonium nitrate dissolves in water it takes up heat, so the solution
gets
very cold (this is the basis for some instant ice-packs). The
solutions
were both warmed to about 50 degrees C, and then mixed in a large
beaker. The odor of ammonia was immediately evident. The beaker was
placed in a fume hood. The solution was then heated and stirred by
hand.
At about 60 degrees C a few small bubbles appeared, and at 80 degrees
C
the bubbles were forming rapidly. The solution appeared to be
boiling,
even though the temperature was far below the boiling point of water.
Heating was continued, and over the next half hour, the temperature
stayed
around 80 C. After that time, the rate of gas bubble formation
slowed
down and the temperature of the solution rose to 100 C, at which point
a
more normal looking boiling commenced. The volume of the solution
decreased steadily over 30 minutes, during which time the temperature
of
the solution raised to 113 C. At this point, the volume was around
100
ml, and a large rime of crystals was beginning to form around the
surface
of the boiling solution. The beaker was removed from the heat, and
allowed to stand for a minute, after which 100 ml of denatured alcohol
was
added to cause rapid crystalization of the potassium nitrate. The
solution was allowed to cool to room temperature, and the crystals
were
collected via vacuum filtration, and dryed in an oven at 150 C. The
final yeild was 194 grams of very finely divided pure-white
microcrystaline potassium nitrate (96% of the theoretical amount of
202
grams). The crystals were tested for ammonium ions by the
KOH/litmus/evolved-gas method, and for carbonate by attempted
precipitation of barium carbonate via barium chloride. Both tests
showed
less than 1% contamination.
The success of this laboratory experiment led to a ³production scale²
test. In this experiment 7.4 pounds (3.36 Kg) of ammonium nitrate
were
dissolved in 1 gallon of water in a 20 quart stainless steel pot, and
the
pot was placed on a grill over an outdoor woodfire and warmed to 50 C.
An
electric heater could probably be used as well. While that solution
was
warming, 7.2 pounds (3.28 Kg) of potash were placed in a 1 gallon
plastic
milk jug, and 2/3 gallon of hot tap water was added. The jug was
shaken,
and the undissolved potash was allowed to settle. The potash was
poured
into the hot ammonium nitrate solution, and the choking odor of
ammonia
gas caused the experimenter to retreat upwind at a rapid pace. The
rest
of the potash was dissolved in a similar fashion, and was added to the
stainless steel pot at arms length while standing upwind. The fire
was
stoked and the pot was allowed to heat up and begin the evolution of
ammonia and carbon dioxide. Once the rapid evolution of ammonia
commenced, the experimenter amused himself by seeing how far downwind
he
could detect ammonia with his nose. The odor was unbearable at
distance
at 50¹ downwind, and could easily be detected up to 500¹ away.
Obviously
this procedure on this scale is NOT suitable for normal urban
settings.
After about 3 hours the odor of ammonia diminished to a barely
noticable
level, and the temperature of the solution was found to be about 104
C.
The solution was allowed to boil until it appeared to be a little more
than 2 quarts. At this point the temperature as 110 C. The solution
was
allowed to cool and sit overnight. The next morning the mess in the
bottom of the pot was broken up using a heavy oak 2by2, and poured
into a
pillow case. The crystals were wrung dry, and allowed to dry in a
shallow
pan in the sun. After 2 days, they were weighed. The final yeild was
8.1
pounds (about 90% of total possible yield) of a mixture of large and
small
potassium nitrate crystals. The material would obviously have to be
milled before use. The material was tested for ammonium and
carbonate
ions, and was found to contain a slight contamination with carbonate
ions
(perhaps 1%).
The process is not terribly difficult, and could even be interupted
part
way through to make CIA black powder or non-milled Chrysanthemum type
mixes. For example, once the solution has been boiled to eliminate
the
ammonium and carbonate ions and concentrated to a minimal volume, it
should contain only potassium nitrate. Rather than isolate the
potassium
nitrate, one could add charcoal and sulfur, followed by a period of
boiling and then addition of alcohol (see articles in ³Best of AFN
II²).
Safety Notes: The process releases choking and poisonous gases. Do
not
breath the gas. This process HAS to be done outside or in a
laboratory
fumehood. Normal kitchen vent hoods would be inadequate to remove the
ammonia gas. Note that this also makes this a little hard to do on
the
sly in large quantities. The potash solution is caustic, and hot
concentrated potash solutions might cause chemical burns. As always,
rinse all chemical spills with copious quantities of running water,
and if
burning or irritation persists, see a physician. Ammonia readily
attacks
copper, so one cannot use brass or copper kettles. Potash solutions
attack aluminum. Finally, the Merck index remarks that while ammonia
is
generally regarded as non-flammable, that mixtures of air and ammonia
will
explode if ignited under favorable conditions. However, since the
ammonia
explosions only occur when the concetration is between 13% to 79% in
normal air, it is very unlikely that such huge concentrations will be
formed, especially as the ammonia will always be accompanied by equal
amounts of non-flammable carbon dioxide. Be aware.
(C) 1998 Tom Perigrin
Unauthorized commerical or webpage use prohibited
Harry Conover
2004-01-24 20:02:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Deathmaster
I can get saltpeter for $5 at the drug store... i baught close to 300 cans
of it this weekend.
Wow, at the going price of about $1.75/lb for saltpeter, that's quite
a purchase. What do you plan to do with it?

Harry C.
Johnnie Paul
2004-01-26 12:13:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Harry Conover
Wow, at the going price of about $1.75/lb for saltpeter, that's quite
a purchase. What do you plan to do with it?
Harry C.
I pay $.29 - $.31 cents a pound by buying the SQM brand Technical
Grade - greenhouse Kno3.

Johnnie Paul

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