Comments for "First Try at Perchlorates"

16th August 2012 05:37

Rick Boswell wrote ...

I have been successful (I think) in making perchlorates of all the lanthanide elements except Pm. I also made a fairly large quantity of Yttrium Perchlorate. My method was to dissolve the oxide in the cases of Er, Eu, Gd, Ho, La, Lu, Nd, Pr, Yb and Y or the metal in the cases of Ce, Dy, Sm, Tb and Tm in dilute perchloric acid. I ended up with solutions with pH of 4 or 5. I then heated each one in an evaporating dish until it either crystallized or became almost anhydrous. Many of these compounds melted below 100 C and all were very hygroscopic. I keep them in tightly sealed bottles. Any comments would be appreciated.

22nd January 2009 11:48

Alan Yates wrote...


I tried a number of glues in the various cells. Epoxy works the best, especially the better quality ones. Silicone caulking works fairly well, hot melt glue is hopeless and will melt if the cell or electrode riser runs hot - which they generally do.

It is best to rough up the surfaces a bit with coarse sandpaper to give the adhesive something to key into.



22nd January 2009 03:56

Ben wrote ...

I'm currently trying to make a cell myself, what type of glue did you use to hold the electrodes? I'm having trouble getting mine to stay in place. Thanks.

6th March 2008 11:15

Alan Yates wrote...

No kidding. :-/

Of course Perchloric acid is oh so easy to get, stable and safe to work with. The easiest ways to make it yourself start with Sodium or Barium Perchlorate.

6th March 2008 05:15

Anonymous wrote ...

Sure there's a quick and easy way: neutralize perchloric acid with potassium hydroxide. ...

7th January 2008 03:16

Alan Yates wrote...


Apart from buying it? No, not really.

Like most things, especially in pyrotechnics, there is no quick and easy way to achieve anything. A "quick and easy" seeking attitude is the fastest way to get yourself serious injured (or worse) with energetic materials.

Arguably the fastest way is thermal self-oxidation by melting a larger quantity of Potassium Chlorate. This can be scaled up to make a single large batch fairly quickly, but this still takes time, as you need careful temperature control. Plus it has its own dangers (kilograms of molten Potassium Chlorate has a great deal of chemical energy and can let it loose very quickly if provoked as it is already at the point where it is happy to let out its Oxygen). You also need the Potassium Chlorate feedstock, which has to be made, and that is a "slow" process. Then you need to purify the Potassium Perchlorate to remove the Potassium Chloride and any unreacted Potassium Chlorate.

That is a lot of heating, cooling, and waiting for energy to do its work. Pushing it faster is a great way to unleash all that stored energy at once in a useless and destructive accident.

So, in short, there is no free lunch. That's a physical law of our universe.

Think of it another way, all the energy you get out of your oxidiser when you use it in a pyrotechnic composition has to be put into it in the first place, plus a bit more for the losses that thermodynamics demands. Think of how much electricity you'd need to accumulate to produce the same kinds of mechanical effect as a few grams of whistle or flash can achieve (don't even think about how much energy it took to make the Aluminium! - or the ancient plankton and algae that made the crude oil that eventually made the Salicyclic or Benzoic Acid).

Its quite magical enough that you can make rocket fuel out of table salt. The only way to speed it up is to scale the process, at which point the professionals have already tuned their processes for efficiency; you may as well just buy it.



6th January 2008 19:17

dan wrote ...

Hi, I was wondering if there was a fast and easy way to make potassium perchlorate

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