Monday, October 18, 2010

Mr. Molotov's Cousin

If you drink beer or other libations, I'm sure you've put aside a number of suitable vessels for that day you may find yourself in need of the cleansing power of fire.

A friend of mine is especially enamored of Chambord bottles.

I guess it does resemble the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch"

A powerful weapon, indeed.

But let us say you're out of gasoline, and all you have left is granulated pool chlorine and brake fluid. Hey, it could happen...that's all I'm saying. What can you do with those chemicals?

Granulated pool chlorine is calcium hypochlorite and brake fluid is polyethylene glycol. They react violently when mixed together. Make sure you buy non synthetic brake fluid. Most DOT 3 and 4 brake fluids are not synthetics, but be sure to check the label.

Depending on the ratio of chlorine to brake fluid, you will get anything from a dense, acrid, choking chemical smoke to an incredibly difficult to control fire.

Smoke generator


I haven't used this trick since I was in college, and was nearly expelled for setting it off in the student union as a prank. That was 26 years ago, so I'm a wee bit hazy on the exact ratio. I think that it was 3 parts calcium hypochlorite and 2 parts brake fluid to have a nice fire in around three minutes. You may want to experiment with that on your own. Increasing the ratio of brake fluid generates lots of smoke, too much and nothing really happens.

The really nice thing is, if you keep your chemical ratios consistent, the time to ignition is consistent within a few seconds. Could come in handy, eh?

Just don't mix them together until you're ready to use.

What can you do with this? Use your heads, kids....just play nice!


Ken said...

...yep...i've said it before,i want to be on Catmans

Anonymous said...

Glass jars work but so do plastic two liter bottles. And burning dripping plastic can be fun. Try it out by blowing up a mailbox or two.

Anonymous said...

Our bomb investigator taught us this trick. It works great, just be careful because the more liquid you mix in the faster it will blow. Next time you go to the grocery store note that these two items are almost always on the shelf next to each other or at least within a foot or two. If you are ever in a grocery store during an earthquake make sure to get out of that isle!

HermitJim said...

Nothing like a good educational post! Appreciate you holding class for us today, buddy.

I just never know when some of this stuff may come in handy!