Science

How to Make a Smoke Bomb

The humble looking smoke bomb was developed for the first time in 1848 by Robert Yale inUK. He experimented with firecrackers that were popularized by the Chinese in the 17th century and manufactured these in his lab. Gradually, he went on to perfect the formulation that resulted in the creation of fireworks that spewed dense smoke which lasted for a greater length of time.

These smoke bombs are prepared by blending potassium chlorate (an oxidizer), sugar (functioning as a fuel), an organic dye in powdery form, and sodium bicarbonate that works as a moderator preventing heat buildup. Once this mixture is ignited, the organic dye starts to evaporate and is forced out as smoke. Following are some simple tutorials on how to make a smoke bomb in the comfort of your home.

How to Cook a Perfect Smoke Bomb

Though it may not be possible to manufacture a smoke bomb exactly like the ones you buy from a fireworks shop (owing to lack of resources and/or expertise), you can always make a crude smoke bomb on your own.

First, you have to get the ingredients needed in making the smoke bomb. The ingredients you’d generally need are KNO3 (potassium nitrate or saltpeter), sugar, frying pan, and aluminum foil.

  • Mix potassium nitrate and sugar in a 5:3 proportion, that is, five parts of the former and 3 parts of the latter. Transfer the contents to a skillet kept over an oven. Here it is important to note that mixing a greater proportion of potassium nitrate is necessary for making smoke bombs that emit thicker smoke quite rapidly.

  • Light up the burner and swirl the mixture slowly with a ladle or spoon keeping the heat low. Keep a close watch while you’re stirring and if you notice that the sugar grains have started to liquefy, then take off the pan, and further lower the heat before you can proceed. 

  • Then pour the mixture in a container and after it cools down a bit, decant the content onto a foil, and make small or big lumps out of the mixture. These lumps are veritable smoke bombs. See how to make a smoke bomb is relatively easy.

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