Potassium chlorate is a highly reactive oxidating agent. It is used in the production of matchstick heads,
fireworks and explosives. The mixture used in the experiment shown above is so sensitive that it cannot be ground with a morter. Rather,
the ingredients must be
carefully mixed with a birdfeather.
The chemical weedkiller "Unkraut-Ex," which is no longer available, had potassium chlorate as a main ingredient.
One of the reasons it was pulled is that attempts by chemical hobbiests to make homemade firecrackers for New Year's using Unkraut-Ex and powdered sugar often led to
|Photo 1:||Experimental setup: Red phosphorus, calcium chlorate, birdfeather.|
|Photo 2:||Professor in protective gear.|
|Photo 3:||The reactants are mixed with the birdfeather. A hammer strike causes them to explode.|