Science, Tech, Math › Science World's Biggest Smoke Bomb How To Set the Guinness World Record for World's Largest Smoke Bomb Share Flipboard Email Print Here's the smoke bomb for the Guinness World Record test run. This smoke bomb weighs 15 pounds and consists of potassium nitrate with sugar. Anne Helmenstine Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated May 05, 2019 Have you ever wondered just how big the world's biggest smoke bomb would be or how it could be constructed? We built a 15-pound smoke bomb to apply for the Guinness World Record for World's Biggest Smoke Bomb. Here's how the world's biggest smoke bomb was made. Why explain how to do it? Well, one of the requirements for a Guinness World Record is that it be breakable. I'm hoping explaining how it was done will inspire you to make your own smoke bomb and experiment with the possibilities. It's what science and invention are all about! In addition to this written description, there's also a video, showing the final result. Smoke Bomb Recipe There are several ways to produce smoke, but for a device to be a smoke bomb, it needs to produce a lot of smoke. Dry ice and liquid nitrogen produce fog, but that's something different from smoke. If you want real smoke, you can prepare a powdered smoke mixture or make a solid smoke bomb. To make the world's biggest smoke bomb, we went with the traditional saltpeter and sugar mixture. You can get smoke at different ratios of ingredients. We made the smoke bomb using: 3 parts saltpeter or potassium nitrate (Spectracide Stump Remover)2 parts sucrose (granulated white sugar) It's possible to make a smoke bomb by dampening these ingredients, mixing them and allowing the formula to dry, but that can take a really long time, plus it doesn't burn as well as the cooked mixture. We cooked the smoke bomb in relatively small batches on a kitchen stove, pouring each batch into a large cardboard mortar. Preparing the Smoke Bomb This smoke bomb formula also is used for model rockets because it produces a lot of pressure as gases are released during combustion. This is great for a rocket, but not desirable for a smoke bomb, so the design needed to prevent the smoke bomb from launching itself. To accomplish this, holes were drilled into the cardboard mortar so gases would escape in all directions. The completed smoke bomb was placed in a hole and lit from the top so that it would push down into the ground. Lessons Learned The design of the smoke bomb worked exactly as planned, but it would have been better if the smoke bomb had burned a little more slowly and with less flame. How can this be achieved? There are two easy fixes. One solution would be to change the ratio of potassium nitrate to sugar. A 1:1 ratio is harder to light, but burns more slowly and produces more smoke. Another solution is to add a small amount of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the mixture to moderate the rate of the reaction. For example, if we do this, a typical amount is 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate per 60 grams potassium nitrate and 40 grams sugar. Safety Notes If you want to make a smoke bomb of your own or potentially break this record, it's best to start small. First, make sure it's legal to make and light smoke bombs where you live. Since they don't explode, smoke bombs are legal in many places that disallow other fireworks, but it's best to know the law before you get started. Also, use common sense. Don't light smoke bombs anywhere you can't manage a fire, should one start. Smoke bombs should only be made and lit under adult supervision. Start out with the non-cook smoke bomb and then try some of my other recipes. Feel free to write me if you have any questions. Have fun! Disclaimer: Please be advised that the content provided by our website is for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. Fireworks and the chemicals contained within them are dangerous and should always be handled with care and used with common sense. By using this website you acknowledge that ThoughtCo., its parent About, Inc. 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