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  • I've gathered up some common household ingredients,

  • and a frying pan, because today we're doing some

  • kitchen chemistry. This is the type of cooking that

  • gets me excited because I'm trying out recipes for

  • solid-state rocket fuel.

  • To get started, I'm taking this portable electric

  • burner outside and away from anything flammable. I'll

  • add a frying pan, and set the heat to medium-low.

  • This lid should help it heat faster, and while that's

  • warming up, I'll place one of these plastic cups on a

  • digital scale and turn it on. When the scale has

  • zeroed out the weight of the cup, I'm ready to measure

  • portions of these two ingredients. The black bottle

  • is a stump remover from the garden section of a local

  • hardware store, and I'm using it because it contains

  • Potassium Nitrate. And according to the MSDS, it

  • contains a lot of it. The second ingredient is plain

  • white table sugar and I couldn't resist a little taste

  • before investing it into this experiment. Ok, this

  • recipe calls for a 60/40 mix by weight, and I'm going

  • to make a 100 gram batch, so I'm adding 60 grams of

  • stump remover first, followed by 40 grams of

  • granulated white sugar. That looks good there, so I'll

  • give the cup a little shake to mix the two together, and

  • then try to pour it neatly and evenly into the pre-

  • heated pan. Over the course of about 5 minutes, I'll

  • need to stir the mix up a little so it doesn't burn on

  • the bottom. Not much seems to be happening yet, but

  • after about 8 minutes I can see some of the sugar

  • starting to caramelize into a liquid. At this point

  • I'll need to be stirring and mixing a little more

  • frequently, and as I do, the mixture begins to liquify

  • and clump together, turning a golden brown. Just a

  • couple of minutes later, the entire batch looks like

  • cookie dough, and the white powder is completely mixed

  • in. I'll need some sort of container to hold this in,

  • and I'm thinking these Mega Block Legos might work.

  • At this point, the mixture is just runny enough that

  • it can be coaxed into the container. It takes about

  • 60 grams to fill this red block, and when I've cooked

  • up a little more, I'll add that to the blue one. It's

  • darker in color because it cooked longer, and

  • generally speaking, I think the less it is cooked, the

  • better. There's just a little bit left over, and it's

  • hot, but if I'm careful, I can roll it into a test

  • piece for measuring the burn rate later on. Alright,

  • while those are cooling, I've got one we can light off

  • just to see how it looks. I'll get it started with a

  • propane torch, and when the fuel catches, it throws

  • off a nice little flame, and quite a bit of smoke.

  • This mix is 4 months old and seems to burn a little

  • slow, but it's still a good show. And you can tell by

  • the melting plastic that it does get pretty hot. Ok I

  • just made 3 more batches of fuel that are all a little

  • different. To the yellow one I added 30 grams of

  • water and then turned the heat up to boil the water

  • out. After a couple of minutes, the mix turned to a

  • white mush and was ready when all the water seemed to

  • have cooked out. This method prevented the sugar from

  • caramelizing, but was a little crumbly when dry.

  • I packed that into this yellow LEGO block and set it

  • aside. Another batch was made using a mix of 58%

  • Stump Remover, 29% Sugar, and this time I used 13%

  • Corn syrup, and 30mL water. The water was cooked out

  • the same way as the last, and then about 1 gram of

  • homemade rust powder was added, and stirred in

  • throughly. When it was ready, it looked like a creamy

  • chocolate frosting, and I packed that into the green

  • LEGO. I may have accidentally trapped an air bubble

  • inside. You'll see this explode later when we test

  • it. For my last batch, I sprinkled some red rust into

  • the mix while it was still wet, and like the others,

  • stirred it until the water had evaporated out. This

  • mix kind of looked like a delicious red velvet cake,

  • but I wouldn't recommend eating it. I took samples

  • from each fuel, and measured them all to a length of

  • 1", then timed the burn rates to see how they

  • performed against each other. I was happiest with the

  • batch made with my homemade rust because it burned the fastest.

  • I had a few sample scraps left over that

  • were begging to be burned up, so I did that. And now

  • here we are with 5 samples ready for ignition.

  • Testing the red one, I'm really impressed at how fast

  • it ignites and burns, but a little nervous when it

  • starts spinning out of control. I'm out of there.

  • The blue one lights off just as powerfully, and builds

  • thrust to the point to where it takes off, leaving me

  • in a total whiteout. This yellow one was the un-

  • caramelized version and I got smarter this time by

  • pointing it down to prevent it from taking off like

  • the others. It burned slower than the first two, but

  • the amount of smoke it put off was still incredible!

  • Ok so this green one has the rust in it, and it lit up

  • instantly and then blew up. But did you notice how

  • much faster the burn rate was? That's amazing. For the black

  • one I decided it was a good idea to hold it in place

  • with another cement brick, and that strategy seemed to

  • work. At least this time I didn't get sprayed in the

  • face with spewing hot rocket fuel. Overall I think

  • I'm happiest with these mixtures using the rust. With

  • a different homemade casing that actually has a

  • nozzle, I was able to get a successful rocket launch

  • that I think went a couple thousand feet high.

  • Well that's it for this project. If you like these videos,

  • please subscribe and share with your friends.

  • I appreciate your support. Thanks for watching.

I've gathered up some common household ingredients,

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B1 US rust mix batch fuel cooked homemade

Homemade Rocket Fuel (R-Candy)

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    何紹愷 posted on 2015/02/08
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