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New Idea for fuel and ignitor

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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New Idea for fuel and ignitor

Unread postAuthor: Brooner115 » Wed May 09, 2007 4:18 pm

OK so I have a science fair project to do and I found this site called Exploscience.com its amazing and I have a great idea I am boring from them You get a clear combustion chamber (clear PVC) and put in the chamber 50% H2 gas and 50% C12 gas and when the mix they can be ignited by the flash of a camera or a strobe flashing. Its an ingenius idea only if it would work you might have to look around a little bit to find the video I got the idea from. Its actually Hydrogen and chlorine mixed and thats the H2 gas and C12 gas. All you have to do is put in the gas and put a strobe light close to it and let it flash and boom you have a new combustion cannon.

Pleaze let me know if you guys have any comments or anything I think the video on that website is calle the Photon Initiated reaction.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Wed May 09, 2007 4:22 pm

Uh, you said hydrogen and chlorine? C12 would make me think a 12-carbon chain.
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Unread postAuthor: veginator » Wed May 09, 2007 4:29 pm

my friend did somthing like that but he mixed alcohol and pool chlorine and put it in a bottle and about a minute later it shot up like a rocket. so i guess you coud do that and just use a burst disk
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Wed May 09, 2007 4:38 pm

Well uh, hydrogen and chlorine doesn't sound liek a terribly good idea to me, especially if you're talking about a chemical reaction between the two, which would most likely combine with water vapor in the air and produce HCl. Which would be bad.
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Unread postAuthor: iknowmy3tables » Wed May 09, 2007 4:54 pm

Isn't chlorine gas incredibly poisonous (dissolves your lungs into liquid so you drown), since it was used in WW1 then ban

I'd use H2 and O2 is a steel chamber before I use that,
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Unread postAuthor: spudzinger » Wed May 09, 2007 5:39 pm

iknowmy3tables, chlorine is poisonous but it doesn't turn your lungs to liquid, it rips the valence electrons from the atoms of the molecules in your body's cells. Anyways, this idea sounds rather bad and quite dangerous. And to answer paaiyans theory it is HCL that is produced. The problem with using this as a propellant is that I doubt it has the power to lauch much of anything, plus youd need a way to clear out the HCL fast afterwards and you wouldnt want the chlorine in there to long either. To top it all off chlorine gas would be hard to get and hydrogen gas, while being available, is rather expensive. Basically, it sounds like a bad idea that I wouldnt want to try for safety reasons. But, it does make a cool science project. So, do it if you want but you can't say we didnt warn you. Good luck Spud
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Unread postAuthor: Brooner115 » Wed May 09, 2007 9:29 pm

All well it was just an idea and did you guys check out that website its pretty crazy what they did.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Wed May 09, 2007 9:33 pm

OK I know what it is that they use to get the chlorine, they aren't talking about just chlorine gas. But I'm not posting it here, because it's incredibly dangerous. I have found a couple of sources that say HCl is produced, and that's something you sure as heck don't want anywhere near you.
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Unread postAuthor: spudzinger » Thu May 10, 2007 5:27 pm

paaiyan, they are just using chlorine gas because you can see it in the vid. THe reason for it being C12 is because chlorine is so unstable it will bond with itself to gain some stability. And in the vid it says right there that it makes HCL so you were right on that account. Anyways, cool science project but not really a viable propulsion source. The calcium carbide to acetelyene vids might be of some use for a fuel sorce but that could be kinda explosive.
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Unread postAuthor: Freefall » Thu May 10, 2007 6:29 pm

First, please stop calling it C12 (c-twelve).
It's Cl2 (C lowercase L subscript two).

Second, concentrated chlorine gas is dangerous.

Third, The combustion of Cl2 and H2 results in gaseous HCl, which you probably don't want to be inhaling.

Fourth, any combination that's unstable enough to be ignited by a glorified lightbulb is not going in my spudgun.
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Unread postAuthor: spudzinger » Thu May 10, 2007 6:55 pm

paaiyan, they are just using chlorine gas because you can see it in the vid. THe reason for it being C12 is because chlorine is so unstable it will bond with itself to gain some stability. And in the vid it says right there that it makes HCL so you were right on that account. Anyways, cool science project but not really a viable propulsion source. The calcium carbide to acetelyene vids might be of some use for a fuel sorce but that could be kinda explosive.
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Fri May 11, 2007 2:09 pm

spudzinger wrote:paaiyan, they are just using chlorine gas because you can see it in the vid. THe reason for it being C12 is because chlorine is so unstable it will bond with itself to gain some stability. And in the vid it says right there that it makes HCL so you were right on that account. Anyways, cool science project but not really a viable propulsion source. The calcium carbide to acetelyene vids might be of some use for a fuel sorce but that could be kinda explosive.


Chlorine behaves nearly exactly like oxygen. A molecule of oxygen is O<sub>2</sub>, that is, molecular oxygen is a diatomic molecule. For chlorine it is Cl<sub>2</sub>, also a diatomic molecule. (That is an "el", not a one.) Cl<sub>2</sub> can be substitute for O<sub>2</sub> in just about all reactions of oxygen.

If you do electrolysis on a concentrated NaCl solution you'll get H<sub>2</sub> (hydrogen is also diatomic) and Cl<sub>2</sub> in exactly the correct proportions for combustion. Combustion of H<sub>2</sub> and Cl<sub>2</sub> produces HCl (hydrogen chloride if it is a gas, hydrochloric acid if it is dissolved in water).

As others have posted, Cl<sub>2</sub> is extremely dangerous, much more so than HCl.

All of the halogens; Fluorine (F<sub>2</sub>), Chlorine, Bromine (Br<sub>2</sub>) and Iodine (I<sub>2</sub>), are strong oxidizing agents, extremely corrosive and very toxic.

The halogens tend to be photoreactive, that is, a bright light is frequently enough to initiate a chemical reaction. If there is a combustable material present then a bright light can start combustion.

(Edit: fixed spelling of "hydrochloric" and "chloride")
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Fri May 11, 2007 2:22 pm

jimmy101 wrote:
spudzinger wrote:paaiyan, they are just using chlorine gas because you can see it in the vid. THe reason for it being C12 is because chlorine is so unstable it will bond with itself to gain some stability. And in the vid it says right there that it makes HCL so you were right on that account. Anyways, cool science project but not really a viable propulsion source. The calcium carbide to acetelyene vids might be of some use for a fuel sorce but that could be kinda explosive.


Chlorine behaves nearly exactly like oxygen. A molecule of oxygen is O<sub>2</sub>, that is, molecular oxygen is a diatomic molecule. For chlorine it is Cl<sub>2</sub>, also a diatomic molecule. (That is an "el", not a one.) Cl<sub>2</sub> can be substitute for O<sub>2</sub> in just about all reactions of oxygen.

If you do electrolysis on a concentrated NaCl solution you'll get H<sub>2</sub> (hydrogen is also diatomic) and Cl<sub>2</sub> in exactly the correct proportions for combustion. Combustion of H<sub>2</sub> and Cl<sub>2</sub> produces HCl (hydrogen chloride if it is a gas, hydrochloric acid if it is dissolved in water).

As others have posted, Cl<sub>2</sub> is extremely dangerous, much more so than HCl.

All of the halogens; Fluorine (F<sub>2</sub>), Chlorine, Bromine (Br<sub>2</sub>) and Iodine (I<sub>2</sub>), are strong oxidizing agents, extremely corrosive and very toxic.

The halogens tend to be photoreactive, that is, a bright light is frequently enough to initiate a chemical reaction. If there is a combustable material present then a bright light can start combustion.

(Edit: fixed spelling of "hydrochloric" and "chloride")


Numero uno, how are they getting pure Cl2?

Next, how do you figure that Cl2 is more dangerous than HCl? Both gasses are toxic, but when HCl combines with the moisture in your lungs, it'll eat them away from the inside out.

Next, chlorine is highly toxic, and so is HCl, so DON'T DO THIS. HCl has a nasty habit of ionizing when it contacts the moisture in your eyes. Does anyone know what you get when you ionize HCl in water?

Guys if you're gonna talk chemistry, you dang well better know what you're saying.

EDIT: And yes, Cl2 and O2 can react with many of the same things, but what does that have to do with this discussion?

EDIT2: And spudzinger, delete that last post, you did it twice.
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Unread postAuthor: spudzinger » Fri May 11, 2007 5:10 pm

Hey smart @ss, it glitched it wasnt me!Lol, anyways this topic is utterly, and unrevivably dead.Laterz y'all, off to go rafting b'fore the river dries up(i live in the southwest)
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Sat May 12, 2007 3:29 pm

paaiyan wrote:
jimmy101 wrote:
spudzinger wrote:paaiyan, they are just using chlorine gas because you can see it in the vid. THe reason for it being C12 is because chlorine is so unstable it will bond with itself to gain some stability. And in the vid it says right there that it makes HCL so you were right on that account. Anyways, cool science project but not really a viable propulsion source. The calcium carbide to acetelyene vids might be of some use for a fuel sorce but that could be kinda explosive.


Chlorine behaves nearly exactly like oxygen. A molecule of oxygen is O<sub>2</sub>, that is, molecular oxygen is a diatomic molecule. For chlorine it is Cl<sub>2</sub>, also a diatomic molecule. (That is an "el", not a one.) Cl<sub>2</sub> can be substitute for O<sub>2</sub> in just about all reactions of oxygen.

If you do electrolysis on a concentrated NaCl solution you'll get H<sub>2</sub> (hydrogen is also diatomic) and Cl<sub>2</sub> in exactly the correct proportions for combustion. Combustion of H<sub>2</sub> and Cl<sub>2</sub> produces HCl (hydrogen chloride if it is a gas, hydrochloric acid if it is dissolved in water).

As others have posted, Cl<sub>2</sub> is extremely dangerous, much more so than HCl.

All of the halogens; Fluorine (F<sub>2</sub>), Chlorine, Bromine (Br<sub>2</sub>) and Iodine (I<sub>2</sub>), are strong oxidizing agents, extremely corrosive and very toxic.

The halogens tend to be photoreactive, that is, a bright light is frequently enough to initiate a chemical reaction. If there is a combustable material present then a bright light can start combustion.

(Edit: fixed spelling of "hydrochloric" and "chloride")


Numero uno, how are they getting pure Cl2?

Next, how do you figure that Cl2 is more dangerous than HCl? Both gasses are toxic, but when HCl combines with the moisture in your lungs, it'll eat them away from the inside out.

Next, chlorine is highly toxic, and so is HCl, so DON'T DO THIS. HCl has a nasty habit of ionizing when it contacts the moisture in your eyes. Does anyone know what you get when you ionize HCl in water?

Guys if you're gonna talk chemistry, you dang well better know what you're saying.

EDIT: And yes, Cl2 and O2 can react with many of the same things, but what does that have to do with this discussion?

EDIT2: And spudzinger, delete that last post, you did it twice.


Yes, paaiyan, if you are going to talk chem. you better know what you are talking about.

Chlorine is considerable more dangerous than HCl. HCl is simply a strong acid. Mass balance means it takes a relatively large amount of hydrogen chloride to do a lot of damage. The Germans in WWI used chorine gas (Cl<sub>2</sub> was the first "weapon of mass destruction"), not hydrogen chloride, since chorine is much more toxic. Chlorine is still being used as a WMD (it was used just a few months ago in Iraq). Chlorine gas is used to sterilize instruments, to kill bacteria in pools and water supplies. Those are things that you can't use hydrogen chloride (or hydrochloric acid) for.

Check the MSDS for Cl<sub>2</sub> and HCl (gaseous or aqueous) to see how much the toxicities differ.

From the MSDS for Chlorine (http://www.westlakechemical.com/datasheets/MSDS_Chlorine.pdf)
CAUTION! Oxidizer. Extremely reactive.
Incompatibility (Materials to Avoid): Chlorine is extremely reactive. Liquid or gaseous chlorine can react violently with many combustible materials and other chemicals, including water. Metal halides, carbon, finely divided metals and sulfides can accelerate the rate of chlorine reactions. Hydrocarbon gases, e.g., methane, acetylene, ethylene or ethane, can react explosively if initiated by sunlight or a catalyst. Liquid or solid hydrocarbons, e.g., natural or synthetic rubbers, naphtha, turpentine, gasoline, fuel gas, lubricating oils, greases or waxes, can react violently. Metals, e.g., finely powdered aluminum, brass, copper, manganese, tin, steel and iron, can react vigorously or explosively with chlorine. Nitrogen compounds, e.g., ammonia and other nitrogen compounds, can react with chlorine to form highly explosive nitrogen trichloride. Non-metals, e.g., phosphorous, boron, activated carbon and silicon can ignite on contact with gaseous chlorine at room temperature. Certain concentrations of chlorine-hydrogen can explode by spark ignition. Chlorine is strongly corrosive to most metals in the presence of moisture. Copper may burn spontaneously. Chlorine reacts with most metals at high temperatures. Titanium will burn at ambient temperature in the presence of dry chlorine.


"Does anyone know what you get when you ionize HCl in water?"
You get hydrochloric acid. One of the seven common strong acids. I've got a gallon jug of conc. hydrochloric acid out in the garage. It is in a plastic jug. Considerably more dangerous than say a gallon of vinegar (~5% acetic acid), but safe enough that you can buy it by the gallon at most hardware stores. Brick layers use conc. hydrochloric acid all the time.

As I said before, electrolysis of NaCl in water produces chlorine gas. You can also buy compressed gas cylinders of it (but not at your local hardware store). I've used it, it is nasty stuff.

The discussion was concerning using chlorine with hydrogen as the fuel. I just pointed out that the chlorine is functioning as oxygen would in the same setup.
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