[2014] Ayesha Siddiqua (Grade 7/8A): Chemistry of Gunpowder

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by KristinaCollette
Last updated 3 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Chemistry
Grade:
10

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[2014] Ayesha Siddiqua (Grade 7/8A): Chemistry of Gunpowder

APPLICATIONSGunpowder, or more commonly known as ‘black powder’ was introduced as the first chemical explosive. This powder is used for industrial and warfare purposes. Gunpowder is mainly used in fireworks, time fuses, military bomb sites, signal flares, squibs (smaller fireworks that hiss) and, of course, guns. Sometimes, water is added to gunpowder to extend its burning time. It is essential for the gunpowder to be thoroughly mixed, moistened and grounded in order to provide the best results. Black powder generates 60% solid and 40% gaseous products. Regular gunpowder isn’t as ideal of a choice because it produces a large amount of smoke. That is why we sometimes see smoke after watching a fireworks show. Smokeless powders are a type of ammunition that produce a majority of gaseous products, and a little smoke. In the 21st century, black powder has become less popular; substitute propellants have been discovered to reduce smoke emmisions from black powder, which are preffered as opposed to regular gunpowder.

THE CHEMISTRY OF GUNPOWDER

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Gunpowder was invented by the Ancient Chinese.Gunpowder was used to treat skin diseases by the Chinese.Sugar is another fuel that can be used in fireworks!Traumatic tattooing is done by carving a "design" into skin and embedding it with gunpowder.The word "gunpowder" was first used in the year 1411, by the people of England.Edible gunpowder, called "gunpowder tea" has the same appearance as coarse gunpowder.

Potassium nitrate + Sulfur + Carbon ----------> Potassium carbonate + Potassium sulfate + Carbon dioxide + Nitrogen

WORD EQUATION

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Gunpowder is a finely granulated black powder used as a propelling agent in guns and pyrotechnics. It is composed of 75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur.

INTRO ONGUNPOWDER

COOL FACTS

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TYPE OF REACTION

Gunpowder combustion is a double displacement reaction. This is because some products have been replaced with other elements and at least two compounds have formed. Each reactant plays a role in the reaction; potassium nitrate provides oxygen for combustion to occur and sulfur and charcoal are the fuels to jump-start it. To be a little more specific, this reaction is also exothermic, meaning it produces energy, which is why there is smoke when fireworks go off, smoke means combustion, which involes heat.

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10KNO3 + 3S + 8C → 2K2CO3 + 3K2SO4 + 6CO2 + 5N2red is the coefficient; black is subscript

CHEMICAL EQUATION

**When video plays, click the green bars

Potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur (left to right)


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