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Thread: Potassium Permanganate Revisited

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Potassium Permanganate Revisited

    Here's a question for the curious chemists and preppers to ponder.

    If vaping fluid is a mix of Polypropylene Glycol and/or Vegetable Glycerine diluted with some flavourings could it react spontaneously with Potassium Permanganate to start a fire?
    It may seem like a good idea at the time but never open a tin of beans with an axe

  2. #2
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    If it is pure Glycerine - yes, but the mixture needs to be heated up.
    Maybe with a magnifying glass?
    I do not know if you can add a reagent to lower the combustion temperature.

    Horrible stuff, vaping. I do not understand what is wrong with tobacco.

    Risk of cancer with both. Nicer flavor with tobacco.

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    The permanganate ion is a very strong oxidant and catalyst. Mixing that with anything organic is risky.
    Whether you see uncontrolled spontaneous combustion seems to be related to the size of the potassium permanganate crystals.
    It lowers the energy of activation barrier so it won't take much to set it off.

    Long ago, the steam-driven turbine motors in submarine torpedos used permanganate and peroxide in the generators.

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    I recall from my misspent youth that we mixed permanganate crystals with glycerine into a thick paste, put it in condoms and then on a railway track....

    Maybe a soup spoon worth....

    Chemistry sets in those days taught you lots of fun chemistry!

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    Permanganate is a superb sterilizer for supermarket chicken.
    My mon used to soak them for a few minutes then rinse.
    Was also used in wound treatment during WW2 and during Commie times.

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    Back in the earliest of days, potassium permanganate was used as a fixative for biological materials for electron microscopy.
    The manganese is the electron-dense metal stain.
    Extraordinary poisoning damage to cell parts in 10 minutes. Kills everything.
    Never understood just how nasty until I used it in a comparative study.

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    I guess she washed the chicken well!
    We all survived!

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    I can only suppose that the permanganate ion is so strongly complexed with organics that it can't come loose to do you any harm.
    I don't know what the LD50 is for a water solution but I'll bet it isn't much.

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    I guess I am of the strong 50% .

    I think Mr Bishop should try the Vaping liquid (Glycerine?) /Perm. paste experiment and report back.

    Personally I have never been to a Vaping parlour. I am clean shaven and have no tattoos!
    Last edited by Janne; 14-06-2017 at 21:39.

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    I'm surprised that my back-yard pyrotechnic adventures didn't get me at least hospitalized.
    Not smart. The lack of predictability can cost you a hand or an eye or more.
    Not an activity that I'm eager to promote at all.

    The decades flew by and I got both my professional pyrotechnician tags for commercial fireworks and for TV/motion picture work.
    Dirty jobs with rotten pay and vampire hours. You go early. You turn off the lights.
    But it was nice to work with so many really crazy, nut-case people who enjoyed "product development."

  11. #11
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    I used to tech demolition in my squadron. Was fun. Still have all my fingers and other limbs.
    Maybe not my full sanity, but for that I blame my spouse.....

  12. #12
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    At least with demo, you get product with predicable activity. Like time fuse = 1" per second.
    I left all the home-brew F/X behind when I got my tags.
    I was a wiring specialist for commercial. Worked across western Canada every summer.

    I saw a 6" shell "flower-pot." I'd heard about it but not right in my face.
    The damn thing hopped out of the barrel and just lay there on the ground until the breaking charge went off.
    Green stars and sparkley things going everywhere.

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    Yes, mil demolition is highly regulated. Safety, effect. Minimum amount to do the job.
    Taking out old condemned bridges was fun. Moving trees to block roads was fun too.
    Walking with a metal cigarette case full of pencil detonators in your pocket close to the family jewels and pleasure probe was not.

    A colleague was unlucky and lucky.
    Lucky only 2 were left. Unlucky as they went off and plastic surgery was not so advanced in those days.

    Since that time, almost 4 decades ago, I have never bought any fireworks. Made by small kids in China out of crap materials. Recipe for disaster.
    How I know it is small kids? Even the smallest crackers are handrolled. A dab of black powder, old newspaper, glue. impregnated paper as fuse.
    Last edited by Janne; 14-06-2017 at 22:31.

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    A lot of the really good stuff, the pattern shells as well, comes out of both Spain and the United States.
    The industry has made dramatic changes even in the last decade. Clean plastic fuses, everything.
    Don't buy the crap. The word gets around. Pyros talk and gossip with the best of them.

    Family fireworks is getting better and better all the time. Not much of the Pac Rim junk meets our import restrictions.
    I'd still rather back off 50-300 yds and push the button, digitally synched to a sound track.

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    I would have loved to see your wok.

    You can see the result of mine and my two colleagues ( other Squadron dem. teachers). Arvidsjaur Ski slope. I think they have a web cam.
    Took about 12 months to create the ski slope out of a virgin mountain slope.

    I broke the reference clock for the local watchmaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
    A lot of the really good stuff, the pattern shells as well, comes out of both Spain and the United States.
    The industry has made dramatic changes even in the last decade. Clean plastic fuses, everything.
    Don't buy the crap. The word gets around. Pyros talk and gossip with the best of them.

    Family fireworks is getting better and better all the time. Not much of the Pac Rim junk meets our import restrictions.
    I'd still rather back off 50-300 yds and push the button, digitally synched to a sound track.

  16. #16
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    I'm sure you've used Roman Candles. Tubular things that foop - foop - foop, pop out colored blobs of fire (aka 'stars').
    The real ones are 48" tall and 2 or 3 inches in diameter. They really do look good.

    There's a video in YouTube in some camp ground. The guy stabs a little RC in the dirt and lights it. Backs away from it. Fine.
    His dog runs in and grabs the thing like a stick (foop-foop-foop) and runs back to the guy to give it to him!

    Once all the wiring was done and tested, my job was done in a big show.
    I get no credit for any design: low, medium and high levels.
    I'd back off 300 yards and do color photography, all medium format.
    Pick the good stuff , get 16x20 color prints made and flog them at the next gig.

    I liked to do country farm-yard wedding receptions as an independent.
    No safety issues as most were so drunk that they could not have crawled to my show site.

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