WARNING! This experiment is dangerous! You should NOT perform this at home. ONLY carry out this experiment, if you are a trained chemist, and you understand local safety and legal requirements, which are required to perform such experiments
- To make sand thermite prepare the following components: sand, aluminum powder and sulfur.
- For better result the common sand should be treated with diluted hydrochloric acid to remove all the impurities. After treating rinse the sand with water.
- Grind each substance in a mortar to get a finer powder.
- Mix the components in the following ratio: 9 parts of sand, 12 parts of sulfur and 10 parts of aluminum.
- Prepare a strong container (a clay flower pot for example).
- Fill it by half with sand.
- Pour the sand, sulfur and aluminum mixture into the pot in a hill-like shape. Make a socket on top of the hill.
- Place a few grams of potassium permanganate into the socket and insert the magnesium strip.
- Set the pot with the termite mixture outdoors in a safe place. Make sure that there are no flammable materials nearby.
- Put the few drops of glycerin on top of the pill to cover the magnesium strip.
- The mixture will burn in a few minutes with a bright blue flame and evolution of a large amount of heat.
- Let the pot to cool down.
- The large chunk of solid substance was formed in the thermite reaction. To obtain pure silicon break down the chunk and treat it with diluted hydrochloric acid. Then rinse it with water and dry. These operations also should be performed outside because the presence of sulfur compounds.