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How to make Tear Gas Cartridges Part 1 - The Chemical Compound

In this essay, we're trying to explain how to make tear gas ammunition in details.

First, we'll start with the chemical part. The main ingredient of Tear Cas Cartridge is CS which more details can be found in here about the CS.

CS is a white crystalline powder does not burn itself. It requires a chemical reaction to be sublimated. We call it a pyrotechnic burning.

There are a couple of approaches in different producer to sublimate the CS. But the main ingredients are the same.

Here is the formulation that we developed back in 2014.

Figures are in range, because different customers needs different chemical weight, burning time and CS ratio. Median values are good for 22sec burning of total 100gr compressed chemical weight.

Potassium Chlorate works as an oxidizer. As you know burning requires fuel, oxygen and heat source. In pyrotechnic compositions, oxygen supplies by chemicals. In this occasion, Potassium Chlorate is our oxygen supplier. So, result composition will no longer require oxygen from the atmosphere but supply its own oxygen.

Dextrin which also works as fuel in the mixture and binder as well. This is a specific type of dextrin which requires some small amount of water to be activated as a binder.

Fine Powdered Sugar works as fuel and weak binder. Never trust sugar as the sole binder as it's very sensitive to humidity and temp changes and will lose its binding properties over time.

Sodium Carbonate works a burning time adjuster. It helps us to change the total burning time.

Terephthalic Acid works as a filler and smoke enhancer. Gives thick, good white smoke.

Some producers use Antraquinone instead of Terephthalic Acid as I have found that, burning with PTA (Pure Terephthalic Acid) results in lower temperature burning (330C versus 390C). Lower temp burning always better as reduce the risk of causing a fire. Another reason, PTA is cheaper and easy to work with.

And the last ingredient is Iron Oxide, gives a slight blueish colour to the gas cloud, but most importantly gives a shiny surface to the pressed tablets and increase the pressing quality.

The mixture should be mixed thoroughly. We should warn you at this point, this mixture is dangerous. If it burns, it'll burn rapidly and create a lot of gas. A lot. This means, if it burns in a closed container it'll explode open the container violently, as potassium chlorates burn rate rapidly increases with the pressure.

In next chapter, I'll explain a couple methods to mix this pyrotechnic composition.