DIY Flash Cotton Burns Super Fast!

DIY Flash Cotton Burns Super Fast!


[GRANT] What’s up guys welcome back today is an
exciting day because today is the day we get to test out our nitro cotton. Now in
yesterday’s video we took some extremely dangerous acids and use them to turn
ordinary cotton balls into nitro cotton. What exactly is nitro cotton? Well
you’re about to find out. Now these here are the cotton balls that we worked with
yesterday and I’ve let them sit overnight so they’re about as dry as we
can get them, which is good because I don’t think nitro cotton works very
well if it’s wet. And now if we compare them to one of our original cotton balls
you can see they’re a little bit smaller and they take on kind of a yellowish
tinge other than that it just feels like a cotton ball that got a little bit too
wet and then dried out overnight now you remember yesterday we weighed
each of our cotton balls individually and I’m curious to know today now that
they’ve been nitrated if there’s any difference in weight. All right let’s
start a cotton ball number one this was 0.55 grams originally and now we’re
showing 0.80 grams it’s kind of like fluctuating at 0.5 I wonder if that’s because
there’s still a bit of moisture in it or if it’s actually changed weight okay so I just reweighed all of the
cotton balls here and it seems that in almost every case the cotton ball weighs
about 0.3 grams more than it did yesterday and I’m not sure if that’s
still because there’s a little bit of moisture in here that’s waiting to
evaporate off or if the physical properties of the cotton ball itself has
changed but in almost every case the cotton ball has increased in weight by
0.3 grams interesting now this is the fun part the moment we’ve all been
waiting for because now we get to burn it now before we start burning our nitro
cotton let’s start off burning one regular cotton ball just so we have a
standard to measure it against now to light this thing off we could just use
the flame from a BBQ igniter but that’s a little bit too easy so to switch
things up a little bit let’s try using some sparks from a ferrocerium rod and
hacksaw blade there we go we have ignition the cotton ball ignites look at
the way it burns the cotton shrinks the ball turns black as it leaves behind the
carbon residue you can see we got a good 25 to 30 seconds of burn time there with
regular cotton ball without flame right there looks cool you need to see the
heat rising from the charcoal ash we’re left with now is basically black ash and
bring residue and that’s got a lot of smoke coming off it look at all the
smoke here with all the smoke so you can see that gives about 25 to 30
seconds of burn time there’s quite a bit of smoke and the cotton ball doesn’t
completely burn unless you move it around and expose it to the oxygen so
now let’s see how a regular cotton ball compares to Nitro cotton so this is test
number one it’s the first cotton ball we soaked in acid yesterday so
theoretically it should be the most volatile here it is boom there it goes
man okay so do you see the difference in the burn time there the flash cotton
actually flash it went up in a huge ball fire and if you look down here at the
res view there’s really not much Ash left over this is the original cotton
ball that’s at your burning for about two minutes before it finally died down
to this ash and there’s still quite a bit of residue our flash cotton you can
see almost everything is gone so cotton ball one with the success and went up
very very quickly even though it was still in cotton ball form if we would
have stretched those fibers out we could get them go off even faster watch this
so we don’t have to burn the whole cotton ball at once we can actually
unroll it and give ourselves more material to work with like so what’s
really interesting is it still looks like cotton it’s still very fluffy it
still acts like cotton it’s got a slightly yellowish tinge to it try
ripping off a small piece of fiber like this and touch it gently with a flame
and see just how quickly it goes off gone in a flash that’s why I love this
stuff it burns so quickly it disappears before it even has a chance to at the
table it’s why they call it flash cotton folks flash paper and flash cotton is
the kind of stuff magicians using their shows because it burns so quickly
it’s very dramatic it doesn’t leave any smoke or any ashy residue and guys if
you flake off little pieces of your cotton ball like this you can actually
stretch one cotton ball to go an extremely long way so we have it to tests down to full
successes now the purpose of this experiment today is really to see how
many cotton balls we were able to nitrate with 80 milliliters of nitric
acid we took eight cotton balls soaked them each individually for five minutes
and my question is at what point is the nitration start wearing off so this may
seem like a bit of a waste but what we’re going to do now is burn through
each of our cotton balls individually until we find the point where our flash
cotton stops flashing bada-boom whoa someone explosive very volatile cotton ball number six a little bit slower a little bit slower
and there’s a little bit more ashy residue there number seven still a good burn but that was a lot
slower and you can see there’s a lot more after as well down to our last
cotton ball this is number eight and it’s even got a nice little fuse ticking
at the top for us putting off a lot of interesting smoke
there look at that it’s turning yellow that’s the Tsar is bringing extremely
slowly lots of ash it didn’t ignite at all it
just kind of fizzled down released a lot of yellow smoke and turned into this
black ash which kind of has the smell of sulfuric acid they left behind this tar
looking stuff as well crispy black ash and a greasy tar
residue so interesting guys so out of 8 cotton balls the first five of them went
off perfectly very very quickly it wasn’t until the 6th cotton ball that we
noticed a little bit of black ash residue a little bit more than normal
the seventh burn was a little bit slower and the eighth ball didn’t even burn at
all I just released a ton of yellow smoke and melt it down into this black
ball of ash so I think based on our experiment here today we can safely
conclude that 80 milliliters of nitric acid will fully nitrate between 5 to 6
cotton balls now we can actually look at the weights of our cotton balls and
figure out exactly how much cotton that was so just looking at our numbers here
it looks like the first 5 to 6 cotton balls comes out between about 3 grams to
3.25 grams so my best guess based on this experiment is that 80 milliliters
of nitric acid will successfully nitrate around 3 grams of cotton and don’t
forget we nitrated a tampon as well which is 2.4 grams so theoretically we
should be able to get this to work now our little cotton tampon has a whole
heck of a lot of cotton in it so we could actually stretch it out to last
quite a while but I’m thinking let’s just light off this little strip here
and if it works let’s light off the whole thing just because we can beauteous like magic all right so that
worked no problem at all so let’s go ahead and fluff this tampon out a bit
and set it ablaze we go beautiful all right here we go
flash tampon in three two one dang that was a wicked fireball and it just went
up in my face and it was in an instant like less than a second that entire
tampon was completely burned so we did it the world’s first pyrotechnic tampon
Cowabunga dude yeah and look at this there’s hardly any ash at all we’ve got
like little tiny bits of black fiber but the rest of it is completely gone and no
smoke did you see there was no smoke in that just a huge flash of fire in fact
that was quite a bit higher than I was expecting it would right up into my face
and look there’s hardly any ash residue at all if you look down here it’s just a
little bit of black matter but for the most part that tampon is gone in its
entirety so that was really cool guys and now based on these results I think
we can reach some conclusions from our experiments here today we start off in
yesterday’s video taking regular cotton balls and soaking them in the solution
of nitric and sulfuric acid we rinse the acid off soaked it in baking soda water
and then rinse it again and let them dry overnight to produce a batch of flash
cotton the purpose of today’s experiment was to test those cotton balls to
identify where the nitration started dropping off and based on our results we
found that happened right around cotton ball number six now because we use 80
milliliters of nitric acid to brew six cotton balls that went up in a flash we
determined that one milliliter of nitric acid nitrates about point zero four
grams of cotton because our cotton balls work so well just for fun we went ahead
and nitrated a cotton feminine hygiene product to produce the world’s first
pyrotechnic tampon so there we have it guys we now know how to use nitric and
sulfuric acids to produce flash cotton whoa thanks for joining me for this
experiment I’ll be looking for you the next one talk to you then all right here
we go shower of sparks in three two one and I missed one two three four five six
seven eight [MUSIC]

100 thoughts on “DIY Flash Cotton Burns Super Fast!

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  2. Why not turn some soft porous wood into charcoal and try to nitrate that? I would be curious to see what the reaction would be if you burnt a solid piece as well as powdering it up and burning that.

  3. You are making nitrocellulose, which is what smokeless propellants (smokeless gunpowder) is made from. You can make it from pretty much any kind of cellulose, it doesn't have to be cotton balls. Shredded newspaper works just fine too.

    Another name for what you're making is "guncotton". It was found to be excessively fast burning and caused over-pressure failures in gun barrels so the same basic stuff was granulated with a surface retardant added to control the burn rate and that is the foundation of modern firearms propellants. In a nutshell and yes my description is over-simplified and ignores the differences in single and double base propellants but will serve for the purposes of this discussion just fine because …

    You have created something that burns very fast with its own oxidizer. Plain ol' cotton gets oxygen from the air around it to burn. Your guncotton doesn't need air, it carries its own oxygen. You'll notice that there's significant volumetric expansion not only due to heating but also most of the cotton's cellulose is converted to gas leaving behind very little residue. This is one of its appeals as a propellant, btw. So IF you put that in something where expansion does not happen freely as it does in open atmosphere it is going to create pressure. Like it does in a gun barrel. Or an ordinance shell.

    You do not want to be in close proximity to that reaction when it happens.

    What you have isn't properly called an explosive, it's a deflagrant. The difference being that a deflagrant disintegrates at the flame front and a detonant (explosive) disintegrates at the shock wave-front which is usually the speed of sound in the material detonating. Deflagrants are slower and less energetic than detonants but that still doesn't mean you want to be standing next to it when it does its thing.

    You REALLY shouldn't be breathing that "yellow smoke", just FYI.

  4. Hey king could you use potassium nitrate crystals instead of potassium nitrate powder for your black powder I have a feeling you may get a lot more bang for your buck use a shield you will need it

  5. That's TriNitroCellulose. HexaNitroCellulose burns faster. You can feel it go THUMP and leaves almost no residue.

  6. can you make a lot of flash Cotton Burns and place dem in a row a burn it plz can you give me a shot up in your next video like you channel so much

  7. Why don't you just make a Nitro Cotton launcher which would burn when it just hits the target. You may use a small primer or something like that to ignite it.

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