New blasting Powder.
--A French scientific newspaper says that a patent has just been taken out in Belgium
for a simple method of making blasting powder from spent tan bark.
It says that, while the price of this powder is less than that of gunpowder, it takes but one-seventeenth part as much to produce the same effect as the latter.
It is composed of fifty-two and one-half pounds of nitrate of soda to seventy-two and one half pounds of waste tan bark, and twenty pounds of pulverized sulphur.
The nitrate of soda is dissolved in a sufficient quantity of boiling water, and the tan bark added in a manner to completely impregnate it with the solution, after which the sulphur is added in the same way. The mixture is taken from the fire and thoroughly dried, when it is ready for use. If it is wet, this does not permanently injure it, but on being again dried, is as good as ever.
If fired in the open air, it causes no explosion, but is very efficient for blasting when confined in the usual manner.
It is not suitable for use in guns or cannons.