What is Black Powder?

Black Powder also known as Gun powder, that burns rapidly, producing volumes of hot solids and gases which can be used as a Blasting Powder and a Propellant for Firearms, Rockets, and Fireworks.

Composition of Black Powder (Gun Powder)

Charcoal and Sulfur act as the fuel for the explosion, while Potassium Nitrate acts as an oxidizer.

75% Potassium Nitrate (KNO3)

Potassium nitrate / Saltpeter / Niter, an oxidizing agent is a substance that provides Oxygen (O2) for the combustion of some other components.

15% Charcoal (C)

Charcoal is used (instead of pure carbon) because it contains incompletely decomposed cellulose.

10% Sulfur (S)

Sulphur is used for reducing the ignition temperature of Charcoal.

How Does Gun Powder Work After Ignition?

At the point When the Black Powder is ignited, the Carbon and Sulfur consume quickly to produce Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2). Simultaneously, the Potassium Nitrate decomposes to produce a variety of products, one of which is Nitric Oxide (NO). The rapid formation of very hot gases is responsible for the shock wave produced in the explosion.

Is Black Powder and Gun Powder is Same?

They are slightly different from each other. Black Powder invented  in 19th century while Gun powder is much more older than Black Powder. Black Powder produces less smoke than Gun Powder.

What Was The Use Of Black Powder?

Black Powder used as a propellant in Firearms, Rockets, Fireworks and, Artillery. Black Powder also used as a explosive in Mining and Road building.

Is Black  Powder Still Used?

Black Powder is no longer used in modern firearms or weapons.

What Is Gunpowder Used For Today?

At present, the powder is used in Grenades, Rockets, Guns etc. Generally, Gunpowder is used for Military purposes.

Where Was Black Powder Invented?

Black powder is believed to have originated in China. An author “Wei Boyang” wrote about gunpowder in his book “Kinship of the Three”, (a translation of “Cantong qi”), he wrote about the chemical composition of  gunpowder and the experiments conducted by alchemists was also described.

What Powder Is Used In Modern Cartridge?

Modern Cartridge contains smokeless powder which contains Nitrocellulose (Single base powder), Nitroglycerine (Double base powder), and sometimes Nitroglycerine and Nitroguanidine (Triple base powder).

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