I am trying to make rocket fuel using hydrazine, hydrogen peroxide and home products. I want to put an action figure in orbit.

Is there any way to synthesize hydrazine with bleach and ammonia, using $\ce{H2SO4}$ as a catalyst?

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    $\begingroup$ On a side notes: 1) hydrazine probably can be purchased via chemical stores, if you wish. It is quite dangerous: it gives toxic fumes and can decompose violently if proper catalyst is available. 2)hydrogen peroxide in hight concentrations is extremely dangerous staff. It can ignite some substances in high concentrations and inflicts painful wounds several minutes after touch with skin. I strongly encourage you to use something less hardcore: rocket candy for initial steps and nitric acid/(kerosene or alcohol) for liquid-fueled rocket. Do not do the second without much consultations!!!!!111111 $\endgroup$ – permeakra Dec 12 '12 at 17:02
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    $\begingroup$ To underscore Permeakra's comment, if you don't have the proper experience, please consult someone that does. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Dec 13 '12 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ related: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_potential $\endgroup$ – A.K. Sep 25 '19 at 17:26

I sympathize with your desire to launch an action figure. However, the chemistry you propose is really dangerous. You would be better off with black-powder based rockets.

Is there any way to synthesize hydrazine with bleach and ammonia?

Do not do this.

My answer is not "yes" or "no". My answer is Don't. Do not try this without proper safety equipment and training, and then think twice or three times before doing so, and then have an ambulance standing by. Certainly don't do it at home, or by yourself.

This particular reaction is capable of producing hydrazine. However, it also producing a whole host of additional stuff, like chloramine, hydroxylamine, nitrogen trichloride, hydrogen chloride, and chlorine gas, all of which are either gases or volatile liquids, and all of which are poisonous. Hydrazine is poisonous. Nitrogen trichloride is a shock-sensitive explosive on the order of a sneeze can set it off. The reactions are as follows.

Chloramine: $$\ce{NH3 + HOCl -> Cl-NH2 + H2O}$$

Dichloramine: $$\ce{Cl-NH2 + HOCl -> NHCl2 + H2O}$$

Nitrogen trichloride: $$\ce{NHCl2 + HOCl -> NCl3 + H2O}$$

Hydrazine and HCl: $$\ce{NH3 + NH2Cl -> H2N-NH2 + HCl}$$

Hydroxylamine and HCl $$\ce{NH2Cl + H2O -> NH2OH + HCl}$$

Chlorine gas: $$\ce{HCl + HOCl -> H2O + Cl2}$$

Any organic impurities in the mix can lead to other deadly stuff being produced.

This reaction is not controllable to produce a single specific product. Everything it produces is poisonous and/or explosive. I will recommend against, and I will not help you find a recipe.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you so much. I will need some time for study and understand but moreover you told me I've read some information about it and I know why nasa stopped use it. Is quite dangerous and I haven't know and tools enough to manipulate those things. There will be better another alternative like black-powder based rockets. $\endgroup$ – MirlvsMaximvs Dec 12 '12 at 19:51

Don't. Hydrazine is toxic, explosive and a suspected carcinogen (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/idlh/302012.html). Nitrogen chlorides are infamous sensitive explosives (these can be side products of hydrazine synthesis); Pierre Dulong, who first prepared it, lost two fingers and an eye in two explosions associated with NCl3. There have also been some completely unexpected explosions when bleach was mixed with an ammonia equivalent (urea): http://www.chemaxx.com/explosion16b.htm . Even rocket designers are starting to move to less nasty fuels than hydrazine.

And I'm guessing that you aren't working with the usual wimpy home concentration of H2O2 (i.e. 3%) but more concentrated hydrogen peroxide. This stuff is pretty brutal, too, if you get it above 40% concentration. I'd avoid both of these if possible. However, if you are entertained by reading about the synthesis of really nasty propellants, you should read Ignition (http://web.gccaz.edu/~wkehowsk/ignition.pdf), it's really amusing.

I've used hydrazine in small amounts in the Wolff–Kishner reduction, but there's no way I'd try to synthesize the stuff.

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Much safer than hydrazine is kerosene and liquid oxygen, especially if you build a miniature SABRE engine (SABRE stands for Synergistic Air Breathing Rocket Engine).

This is a jet engine that converts to a ramjet engine then a rocket engine as it gets higher and faster i.e. it launches its model plane as a jet engine from a runway and switches mode during flight. This would put your action figure into low earth orbit in his little plane.

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  • $\begingroup$ It should be noted that: 1. Liquid Oxygen, while less hazardous that trying to make hydrazine, is also potentially quite dangerous due to its habit of converting anything and everything even slightly flammable into an incredibly touchy flammable or explosive mixture, 2. A SABRE engine is incredibly complicated above and beyond a simple hydrocarbon and oxygen rocket engine, which already typically is test-fired in a bunker, and 3. the design of liquid fueled rockets, quite apart from the propellants, is potentially quite expensive, tricky, and risky. $\endgroup$ – ikrase Jul 5 at 23:31

My advice would be to choose a different chemistry project, hydrazine is horrible. It is toxic and carcinogenic. In your liver it can form diazomethane which will methylate your liver.

There was a case of a man who drank a glass of what he thought was water while working in the engine room of a ship. Instead he drank a hydrazine solution, hydrazine is used in steam boilers in things like ships and power stations to manage the water chemistry. It serves to remove the dissolved oxygen.

This man ended up with serious liver damage which resulted in him going to hospital for a long time. Smaller doses of hydrazine can result in liver cancer.

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