Guncotton

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Category: Education
     
 

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Combustion of Nitrocellulose: 

Combustion of Nitrocellulose A modified form of cotton burns quickly leaving little residue

Purpose: 

Purpose To observe a rapid combustion reaction To compare the combustion of untreated cotton with treated cotton

Demonstration: 

Demonstration The combustion reaction was extremely rapid, leaving little residue

Concepts: 

Concepts 1. Polymers 2. Polymer Modification 3. Nitration 4. Flash Point

1. Polymers: 

1. Polymers Polymers are huge molecules molecular weights in 10,000X composed of monomer units many are found naturally cotton wool DNA many are synthetically produced plastics nylon In this demonstration the polymer used is cotton

2. Polymer Modification: 

2. Polymer Modification Cotton is a polymer made of hundreds of glucose units attached sequentially to each other For this demonstration cotton was nitrated using a mixture of sulfuric and nitric acid to give the nitrocellulose Glu -Glu -Glu -Glu -Glu -Glu -Glu -Glu -etc -Glu

3. Nitration Reactions: 

3. Nitration Reactions Nitration is a common reaction for organic (carbon) compounds A nitro group is added to a molecule simply by treating it with sulfuric and nitric acid molecule In this demonstration cotton was nitrated to give nitrocellulose

4. Flash Point: 

4. Flash Point Flash Point is the temperature to which a compound must be heated before it will ignite by a flame in the presence of air flash point of gasoline is -45 degrees Celsius flash point of motor oil is 232 degrees Celsius flash point of nitrocellulose is 4 degrees Celsius

Conclusions: 

Conclusions Cotton had been treated in order to nitrate it The modified cotton burned extremely fast

Comments: 

Comments Guncotton has applications in explosives and propellants Guncotton is soluble in alcohol and ether and may be used to cast films and coatings

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