Twinkling green star #1


Magnesium (lab grade powder)


Magnesium reacts slowly with ammonium perchlorate producing ammonia and magnesium perchlorate, especially in the presence of moisture. Thus, the twinklers cannot be stored for more than 6 months, and they must be kept in a closed bag. During the smoulder phase, magnesium reacts with ammonium perchlorate in the dark. In the flash phase, magnesium reacts with barium sulfate, producing hot MgO and creating a green flame. The flash is followed by another cycle, since the flash rapidly consumes the reactants in the flash zone.

1) Binder solution: Dissolve 3 parts of nitrocellulose (smokeless powder or celluloid film) into 30 parts (w/v) of boiling acetone. If you're going to prepare these stars more than once, prepare more of the solution, since nitrocellulose dissolves slowly even in refluxing acetone. Approx. 30 parts of the solution (v/w) is used each time. Nitrocellulose is used as a binder, since other binders tend to interfere with the twinkling.

2) Mix the ingredients into the binder solution in the order they appear here. Proceed as usual. Note that acetone evaporates very rapidly and the stars usually dry within a few hours.

Composition from "Pyrotechnica VII"[3] by T. Fish.