I'm sort of a model rocket enthusiast, but the most common fuel for model rockets, Rocket Candy, requires Potassium Nitrate as an oxidizer to oxidize Powdered Sugar. Potassium Nitrate is not necessarily expensive, but it's not very common, and the only process I found to make it at home took almost a year to produce product. I'm wondering if anyone has found another suitable oxidizer for the sugar, preferably not a nitrate unless it is one that is common, as I am not allowed to store nitric acid in my apartment to synthesize the nitrate. As a side note, I happen to have a significant amount of ammonium sulfate, and I am also wondering if this might be a viable substitute. I know that sulfates aren't always as good of oxidizers as nitrates, but I also know that ammonium salts tend to be better oxidizers. If anyone has some idea as to a common household compound that would be a suitable replacement for Potassium Nitrate as a fuel oxidizer, or if Ammonium Sulfate is good at oxidation, I ask you to help me out here.

Thanks for your consideration! ~ mpprogram6771

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    $\begingroup$ As an update, further investigation reveals that Ammonium Sulfate increases the production of tar and residue, which is not something that I want. $\endgroup$ – mpprogram6771 Mar 27 '20 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ until you do that successfully your real name is going to show, and your account won't properly be configured. $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Mar 27 '20 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I know it's crazy! The registration process has so many bugs. You just have to re-commit to Materials Modeling now. $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Mar 27 '20 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ Your new account is not committed to anything: area51.stackexchange.com/users/208834/mpprogram6771 $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Mar 27 '20 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ I am afraid, potassium nitrate is the most common and probable the least expensive oxidizer. Sulfates are definitely not usable in rocketry. When I was a high school student, we used for simple rockets the filtration paper soaked in solution of sodium chlorate, then sold in technical quality as a total herbicide, probably banned now. It is more reactive than nitrate or perchlorate, so potentially more dangerous., It was little hydroscopic, compared to potassium chlorate, that we used with sugar and metallic salts for "Bengal fires" for TV shows.( as young helpers of the TV chemistry consultant $\endgroup$ – Poutnik Mar 28 '20 at 8:54

Here is one substitute, per Wikipedia:

Ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP) is a modern fuel used in solid-propellant rocket vehicles. It differs from many traditional solid rocket propellants such as black powder or zinc-sulfur, not only in chemical composition and overall performance, but also by the nature of how it is processed. APCP is cast into shape, as opposed to powder pressing as with black powder. This provides manufacturing regularity and repeatability, which are necessary requirements for use in the aerospace industry.

Here is a source: 'Perchlorate: Sources, Uses, and Occurrences in the Environment', detailing its possible creation:

A number of processes have been patented for the production of perchlorates. In general, sodium perchlorate is manufactured electrolytically using sodium chlorate as the feedstock. Potassium perchlorate and ammonium perchlorate are produced in a second step by reacting sodium chlorate as a water solution with other chemicals to create concentrated solutions of either potassium perchlorate or ammonium perchlorate, depending on the added chemical(s). Perchlorate crystals are then precipitated from the solution and are dried to produce a homogeneous dry granular product that is shipped in sacks and drums for sale to manufacturers of various perchlorate-containing end products.

  • $\begingroup$ I like where you're going with this, and your answer was very helpful, but do you know of a common household source of any of the chemicals listed above, either the compound itself or it's precursors? I'm kind of going for something accessible. However, If you truly could find a household source for Ammonium Perchlorate, I've read about how great it is for rocket fuels, but I couldn't find a good source or convenient way to produce it. Even if you can't, your answer is greatly appreciated and I've learned a lot from it. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – mpprogram6771 Mar 27 '20 at 21:47

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