My large dog currently likes to pee on a pile of leaves. If I let me do this for awhile then gather up the leaves, dry them and grind to a fine powder - do I have the start of some (probably weak) black powder?
One of the ingredients in gunpowder is potassium nitrate, which may be obtained from urine. You would have a ‘start’ in the sense that you’d have one ingredient.
ETA: And wouldn’t you know it? There’s actually a ‘how-to’ page on how to get salt peter from urine.
To make saltpeter from urine you need only a couple of ingredients, urine and organic matter.
You may have unintentionally said the quiet part out loud
Since there is no way to know its potency ahead of time, its unpredictable nature would make it unwise for practical use. It might be fun, though, just to see if you can produce it that way.
I believe that you will also need charcoal and salt peter.
Are you having Gorn-based problems?
I think that is the first time I’ve laughed in months.
I was hoping the dried leaves would provide carbon. But after reading that long article on making potassium nitrate it looks like it will at least provide the start to the leach bed. That is sure a long process. I wonder how they figured it out to begin with?
to carnivorousplant: This is the salt peter. We need sulfur.
To Darren_Garrison: What’s a Gorn?
If so, he’ll need to see if he can also fashion a lathe
Let me add to Frodo’s pic: an alien on Star Trek. Kirk is getting his butt kicked by the Gorn until he MacGyvers gunpowder and a cannon and shoots the Gorn with a rock.
Oh, great. SPOILERS, DUDE!
“Dog Pee Gunpowder”
Maybe not a band name, but not a bad movie name.
They already have “gunpowder tea”, so… This could be the equivalent to the coffee beans that a civet poops out.
In the Foxfire books of woodcraft (specifically, Foxfire 5), they recommend mixing the dry ingredients of gunpowder wetted down with urine (not specifically dog urine). I suspect they do this so that the mixer won’t accidentally set off dry powder with friction sparks while mixing, and that they suggest the use of urine rather than water for the chance of picking up a little extra nitrate.
“That’s a nice rock on that engagement ring, Liz!”
Or for corning. You want the gunpowder to be in lumps, not a powder. A powder can seperate as it is moved around. And different uses of gunpowder need different grain size.
Interesting side note, the voice of the Gorn was Ted Cassidy also known as Lurch from The Addams Family TV show and Ruk on the Star Trek episode “What are Little Girls Made of.”