Color producing agents

The purpose of the following list is to provide an overview about color producing chemicals. Most color donors are mixed into a fuel-oxidizer mixture, which as a standalone produces little colour emitters and can be seen as a white piece of colour ready to be filled in with salts. This is why sodium salts are never used for colored flame compositions (except yellow): sodium burns with a yellow flame and overpowers other colours. Some of the chemicals serve as both oxidizer and color producing agent.



A spherical break of stars, similar to a peony, but with stars that leave a visible trail of sparks. A common composition to give the trails are slow burning gunpowder mixtures. The addition of large amounts of charcoal causes thousands of glowing charcoal sparks. The sparks are made alive at first by the action of nitrates on the charcoal then the air supplies oxygen later on in the sparks life.

Chlorine donor

A Chlorine Donor is a chlorine-rich compound when combined with a fuel within a pyrotechnic flame, certain colors can be produced or enriched. The following table can be used whenever we want to substitute one chlorine donor for another. In this case we would use more of the weaker donor to account for the missing chlorine.

Cherry bomb

Cherry bombs are usually round, approximately one inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, and colored red with a green fuse. They contain a core made of explosive flash powder, a layer of sawdust, and a coating of sodium silicate. They are powerful enough to cause very serious injury. 

Chemical grades

There are many Chemical grades and it is important to understand the grades of the chemicals you are buying or are available.


1. A.C.S. - A chemical grade of highest purity and meets or exceeds purity standards set by American Chemical Society (ACS).

2. Reagent - High purity generally equal to A.C.S. grade and suitable for use in many laboratory and analytical applications.

Cavity pump

A Cavity pump is a type of star pump that leaves a small cavity on one end. This is achieved by a small extrusion at the end of the star pump that creates a cavity when composition is pressed. This type of star can be used for multiple types of effects. One way to use it is a changing effect. Press and prime only the flat end of your main composition. When dry, fill the cavity with another effect. As the main composition burns down, the second effect is started.

Catherine wheel

A Catherine wheel is a special type of wheel which consists of a spiral of pyrotechnic material which produces thrust as it burns causing the wheel to spin and also produces a spiral of sparks. The Catherine wheel is mounted at the center against a fence post or other solid object.

As the Catherine wheel burns it's casing is also consumed, similar to a lance. This is different from a wheel created with drivers where the case of the driver is not consumed.


Candle barrage

A cake firework, also known as a candle barrage is a firework comprising a series of roman candles or single shot tubes connected together. Typically, the internal fusing is set to fire each tube in series, or to fire several tubes at the same time, or a combination of these.


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