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Thermite synthesis

The recipe for creating thermite is easy, requiring little knowledge of chemistry. Following is the procedure for one method of creating thermite with basic materials.



A. First we need to make some Iron Oxide (better known as rust).
  1. Cut the output (smaller, round) plug off of the AC-adapter. Separate the two wires in the cord and strip each of them, exposing about 2 inches of wire.
  2. Fill the glass jar with warm water. Add the salt and stir until the salt has dissolved. The salt allows the water to conduct electricity.
  3. Place the unwrapped ends of the two wires into the water, not touching eachother. Plug in the AC-adapter. Don't worry about shock, the AC-adapter only generally uses 6-12 volts. One of the two wires will start to bubble more than the other. This is the positive wire (+). It is a good idea to mark this somehow so as not to forget; if the wires were to be reversed later, the end result would be rust acid instead of rust, which won't be very helpful.
  4. Wrap the positive wire around the large iron nail. Drop the nail into the jar, not touching the submerged negative wire.
  5. Now, leave this as is for about 10 hours. A good amount of rust should form on the surface of the water, the bottom of the jar, and on the nail. Shake it off the nail and repeat until a generous amount of rust is formed.
  6. When enough rust has gathered, drain the excess water and spread the rust on a metal pan or sheet of aluminum foil in a warm or sunny place to dry. Once it is dry scrape it off the pan or foil and crush it into a fine powder, and the rust is ready.

B. Now, the rust is mixed with aluminum to create the final product, thermite.
  1. Use the balance to mass the rust gathered. Use the formula below to determine the amount of aluminum needed:
    • mass of rust gathered * 8 / 3 = mass of aluminum needed

      Correction to mass requirements:
      Molecular weight of Fe2O3 is 158.7, molecular weight of 2Al is 54.96. Because these are the exact quantities of both required for a complete reaction, the mass of rust is clearly greater, not the mass of aluminum. The mass of aluminum should be 0.3463 the mass of the rust. To reverse that, the rust should be approximately 2.888 the mass of the aluminum.

  2. Mass the found amount of aluminum filings needed and set aside.
  3. In a cast iron pot, heat the rust until it is a glowing red color. Slowly mix in the aluminum filings set aside from the previous step.
  4. When the filings and rust have mixed evenly, remove the pot from the heating element and allow the thermite inside to cool.

Because of the high temperature needed to light the thermite, a magnesium strip is needed. Place the strip along side the thermite. Use a blowtorch, butane torch, or similar to light the magnesium strip, which will in-turn light the thermite.

WARNING: This substance is nearly impossible to control or contain once lit, use all necessary caution if attempting to burn it.