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Old 29 May 2009, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post

When kitties sponteously combust it involves teeth, claws and a visit to be patched up in the hospital's casualty dept. IME, feral kitties are quicker to spontaneously combust in that manner than other kinds of kitty which is why I use a pair of welder's leather gauntlets for feral kitty call-outs, even for little feral kitties, because by 8 weeks old they can already rip up your hands.
Off the topic but I had a feral cat bite through my welder's gloves into my thumb. Did not break the skin but I had a heck of bruise on my nail. Cat got neutered and released back into the backyard of the woman who was feeding him.
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Old 29 May 2009, 06:51 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,912

Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
I wonder if a dust explosion is possible with inorganic materials, i.e., can clay explode? Haven't had any coffee or time to think.
Anything that will burn can be used to create a dust explosion. Even things that you don't usually think burn, like iron, can give a dust explosion if it is powdered fine enough and suspended in air.

The only real requirement is that the material is oxidizable. Clay, IIRC, is largely silicon dioxide and other metal oxides. That basically means that the material has already been burned.
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Old 08 November 2014, 06:27 PM
Mallen Mallen is offline
Join Date: 01 November 2014
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 1

This is quite plausible. I work as an analytical chemist. Whatvi can tell you is that nitrates used to be gotten from fermented dung or urine. Digging up the bottom of the pig pen for small scales, or by soaking feces and or hay with urinevfor a larger scale of production was common practice. Bacteria convert the urea into nitrates. What is mostly found is ammonium nitrate. This was filtered through potash (the white mineral residue composed primarily of potassium oxide left after wood or charcoal burns away).The end result was potassium nitrate.

One well know use of nitrate is for black powder when mixed with sulfur and charcoal. Howeve it need not be mixed with those ingredients to pose a hazard. Sodium nitrate ,which has very similar properties is sold at Lowes in 1lb bottles as stump remover. The instructions are to drill a hole in the stump, fill it with the sodium nitrate crystals and place a piece of burning charcoal on top of the filled hole. The bottle says it will burn away the entire stump.
Ammonium nitrate is found in used cat litter. Its highly soluble in water but ive actually seen a particularly dirty bag of used litter have it crystalizing as a white powdery solid on the top of the litter when left to sit for a couple of months. Ammonium nitrate is energetic and was the explosive used in the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. It was not just a "makeshift", " jurry rigged" bomb. While he did make it himself of course, the use of ammonium nitrate is comon among professional blasters. I worked in a civil engineering lab in college and our blaster commonly used ammonium nitrate. He kept it in a heavy steel box in his truck. He would fill a sandwich baggy with a volume of ammonium nitrate the about the size of a hot dog bun. He would then add a capful of nitromethane racing fuel. (He explained that every blaster had a preference, some used diesel fuel, some kerosene, others gasoline, or like he did , nitromethane. He put two detonators in (one was a backup in case the first fizzled, otherwise you have to wait 30 minutes then dig it out) and we dropped it into a 3" diameter 3' deep hole made by pounding a 3" diameter steel post into the ground WO h sledge hammers. When it was set off you could see the earth heave up and the seismic waves roll off it with an amplitude of 6 or 8 inches a couple feet from the hole. We had a line of geophones (microphones set on stakes in the ground) and a seizmohrapgh that would record the reflections off the layers of earth and rock underground. Based on the time it took them to return and the angle they reflected off, we could determine the density and depth of the layers, and from the density we could make predictions about what the layers were composed of. Our blaster told me that the amount of ammonium nitrate he used was about equivalent to a half stick of TNT. Its reasonable to conclude that cat litter catching fire is quite plausible.

Just see if I can do it, I'm trying to recover some nitrate from cat litter for use in a hot bluing tank.
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