A very famous experiment goes like this:

$\ce{KNO3}$, molten wax and sugar are mixed and later burnt; the resulting mixture produces quite a lot of smoke.

After hearing about the experiment, I threw in the idea, "What would happen if $\ce{NaNO3}$, or other alkaline compounds were used instead?". However, the teacher wants us to be sure that the building doesn't explode. So here I am. Has this experiment been attempted before? What would happen if it was used?

Here is a link with the smoke bomb experiment.


1 Answer 1


In pyrotechnics, $\ce{NaNO3}$ is normally avoided because it is very hygroscopic.

With dried $\ce{NaNO3}$, the effect should be identical.

In any case, the usual safety rules apply!

  • $\begingroup$ @MikhailTal Have fun, but play safe and protect your eyes! $\endgroup$ Nov 21, 2014 at 6:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We didn't do it, we'll do it later, but still, I'll accept it. $\endgroup$
    – MikhailTal
    Nov 21, 2014 at 11:48

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