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From: (Gerald L. Hurst)
Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics
Subject: Re: Fire in the Hand ?
Date: 18 Mar 1997 21:15:14 GMT

In article <332E8766.39D1@Oi.You.No>, Frank Doberman
<FDoberman@Oi.You.No> says:

>As far as I'm aware, the liquid itself is not explosive - but the vapours
>when mixed with oxygen would be.

That's right.  I'm sure the original poster was referring to a
fuel-air mix.  The point with CS2 is that it's vapor is much more
easily ignited than most other organic vapors.  This means that
combustion can be sustained at considerably lower temperatures.

As others have noted, the CS2/CCl4 system, while capable of
burning with a relatively cool flame, is much too toxic to fool
with if you love your liver.

Jerry (Ico)

From: (Gerald L. Hurst)
Newsgroups: sci.chem
Subject: Re: Reaction with safety matches
Date: 9 Mar 1996 21:38:33 GMT

In article <4hslum$>, (Patrick Bell) says:

>I'm on a search.  I'm looking for something that will ignite a match-head on
>a safety match without striking it.  Hopefully this could be in a liquid
>form, and it would ideally work like the following:  I tear out a match,
>secretly touching it to this solution, I stare at the match, and as the
>solution evaporates, and reacts with the chemicals on the match head, it
>creates enough heat to ignite the match -- which bursts into flame.  Seems
>pretty harmless, eh?  Well, I'll tell you why I'm looking for this.  I'm a
>magician, and I thought that this could be a very interesting piece.  I
>mean, someone tears out a match, stares at it, and it bursts into flame? 
>That would be pretty powerful.
>If you could offer any help on this, you can be content in knowing that this
>is something that has never been done, to the best of my knowledge.  So you,
>as a chemist, would have many, many magicians very thankful for your help...

If you try this, be very careful with the chemicals - they are 
dangerous. If you dissolve white phosphorus in carbon disulfide,
the liquid will evaporate to leave pyrophoric white phosphorus,
which ignites very easily in warm air. It has been used for 
demonstrations by dipping a handkerchief and allowing it to
dry without moving. When the magician picks up the hanky by 
the corner and waves it, the cloth bursts into flame. You may
have to modify the surface of the match head or simply make a
false match a little to provide a little wicking and insulation 
property, but with a little fooling, you may well make it go.

If I were you I would make only a very tiny amount of the phosphorus
solution and use it up.

Jerry (Ico)  

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