Strontium Chloride is white with crystalline needles. It is odorless with a sharp, bitter taste. Soluble in water and alcohol. It is a source of strontium salts and used in pyrotechnics and electron tubes. It gives a red flame color.
Creating Red Flame Color
For a colorful red fireplace display, you can soak pine cones, wood chips or newspaper-rolls in a Strontium Chloride solution prior to burning.
Start by soaking dry pine cones, wood chips, or even rolled up newspapers in specially prepared Strontium Chloride chemical solution.
What to do
To treat your dried material, mix about one pound (500g) of Strontium Chloride per gallon of water in a plastic container. An empty five-gallon pail is ideal. Avoid metal containers because some chemicals may react and damage the container. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when handling chemicals. Work outside or in an appropriate work area. Some chemicals may stain your work surface.
A day of soaking should give the Strontium Chloride time to soak into the wood. Afterwards, lift and drain over the pail and spread on newspaper to dry. The newspaper can also be burned by rolling and wrapping tightly to form "logs".
Burn the treated material in a well-ventilated fireplace. Wait till your fire has burned down to some coals and low flame, then add the treated material to see the best show of colors.
Another variation for creating a red fireplace colors is to make wax cakes containing Strontium Chloride. Start by melting paraffin in a double boiler. Do not melt over an open flame or it may ignite. Stir in one or two tablespoons of the dry chemical. Let it cool, but while it is still liquid, pour the wax into small paper cake cups. When these have set they can be placed into a fireplace just like the treated pine cones described above.
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