# How does sulfuric acid catalyze the reaction of potassium chlorate and sucrose?

Part of the total reaction is mentioned here:

$\ce{2KClO3(s)} + \text{heat} \rightarrow 2\ce{KCl(s)} + 3\ce{O2(g)}$

The rest is a mystery. (And where does the heat come from?)

I regret to say that I have delayed acquisition of organic chemistry principles that might have answered this question already but can't help but wonder why, right now.

I feel that once the role of sulfuric acid is cleared up, the reaction with sucrose not described above will explain itself.

(And no I am going to run around burning things down with this knowledge.)

The heat of the dehydration reaction will furnish the decomposition of the chlorate, releasing oxygen which, in turn, will start to oxidize the porous carbon mass to carbon dioxide. This reaction again is exothermic ($-394\,\mathrm{kJ\cdot mol^{-1}}$). Sugar might start to caramelize and release more water (as steam), more chlorate decomposes to yield oxygen, etc.