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Chlorates and Perchlorates

Chemical Formula M.W. Sol.* S.G.** CAS # Data Sheet
Barium Chlorate Ba(ClO3)2• H2O 304.27 33.8 3.179 13477-00-4
Potassium Chlorate KClO3 122.55 7.4 2.320 3811-04-9
Potassium Perchlorate KClO4 138.55 1.8 2.524 7778-74-7

*Solubility in water (gram in 100 ml at 20° C)

**Specific Gravity

Chlorates and perchlorates are among the most often used oxidisers in pyrotechnics. Especially potassium perchlorate, KClO4, potassium chlorate KClO3, ammonium perchlorate, NH4ClO4, and barium chlorate BaClO3 are used extensively. Chlorates and perchlorates are chemically related but from a pyrotechnical standpoint perchlorates are generally safer to use. Chlorates require special handling. Mixtures made with tend to be more sensitive than similar mixtures based on perchlorates and some may ignite spontaneously. Potassium chlorate is extensively used commercially since it is cheaper than potassium perchlorate, and many accidents have happened that might have been prevented if the corresponding perchlorate was used instead. The use of chlorates is therefore not recommended. If you do decide to use them, make sure you really understand what you are getting involved with.