BIG Picture

It's not really streching it very much to say that this experiment incorporates some very important concepts which profitably can be placed in your long term memory.

Gunpowder and Explosives

Potassium Chlorate is a strong oxidizing agent. An important comparison can be made with the well known NITRATES.

KClO3, when mixed with a fuel such as charcoal and/or sulfur, can be used as gunpowder much like the classical gunpowder mixture of Potassium Nitrate, Sulfur and Charcoal.

The similar compound, Ammonium Nitrate, NH4NO3, is a well known fertilizer. Literally billions of pounds of this material are produced annually to increase the yield of the world's crops.
However when mixed with a hydrocarbon such as fuel oil, NH4NO3 produces a powerful
explosive. This combination of Nitrate and fuel oil is used in mining and quarrying. It was also used in the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings.


A standard way to measure VOLUME is....
1. Measure the WEIGHT of water which fills the VOLUME
2. Convert this WEIGHT to VOLUME using the water's DENSITY

This is a very important Laboratory Technique. It has several advantages.
A. It frequently easier to weigh water than measure volume.
B. It is more accurate to weigh water than to measure VOLUME.

RWK 1997