Palm Tree Charcoal Black Powder Formula

Ed. D. supplied this one. Thanks, Ed.

I've made some tests with charcoals for black powder. I’d noticed that palm fronds burn very fast in a campfire. So, in one of my tests I used palm tree wood (taken from the base of a frond) to make charcoal. The charcoal was a bit crumbly, rather soft, and very easy to handle. As far as I could tell, the charcoal had some fiber in it, so the charcoal may still have contained some wood, but if so, it was a very small fraction. Point is that when I made Black powder using it, it sucked as a rocket propellant, but it was beautiful to watch! The charcoal gave long-burning "flakes" (yellow, of course) that burned all the way to the ground from an apogee of about 30 meters. I am currently using the charcoal to make beautiful comets. The pyrotechnic formula is:

Potassium nitrate 59.7 grams
Charcoal 19.3 grams
Sulfur 21 grams

All ball milled for 3.5 hours with 20% water/ethanol (1:1)

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