Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Potassium Nitrate In Boise?

My boss' son has been given a high school chemistry assignment involving fireworks, and one of the items that the teacher wants them to get is potassium nitrate.  But where do you find that in Boise?

UPDATE: A reader points out that Home Depot sells it as stump remover.  Apparently, Home Depot stores here don't have it in stock, but Lowe's does.


  1. 20 years ago when I was in high school and messing round with these sorts of things, I would get mine at local family-run (not chain) pharmacies. They would stock it as saltpeter.

    I have no idea whether that would work today, but it might be worth a few phone calls.

  2. Spectracide stump remover:

  3. I've never seen potassium nitrate, sitting on a store shelf. But KNO3 is far from the only oxidizer. Sodium nitrate, sodium clorate, and potassium chlorate will all work. And the chlorate you can make at home from table salt or potassium chloride salt substitute.

    But the one workable oxidizer I have seen sitting on store shelves in bulk quantities was potassium permanganate - which I've seen sitting on the shelf in five-pound bottles, for use in greensand water filters.

  4. These chemicals used for other innocent purposes are the same ones sitting under our sinks or in our garages waiting for when we are declared terrorists, so the television can breathlessly announce all the explosive materials found in our house and garage.

    It is as Strelnikov said to Zhivago in the movie, a knife by itself is a danger, but put it with a fork and a spoon, and it looks innocent (or words to that effect. It's been 16 years since I saw that movie).