TED Conversations

Canterbury College

This conversation is closed.

Is it possible to use gunpowder as a fuel for automobiles??

I was just watching videos about guns on the YouTube and saw how the bolt is pushed back once a bullet is fired. so i just wanted to relate the bolt of a gun with the piston of a car.

  • thumb
    Apr 26 2013: Possible: Yes.
    Practical: No.
    You /could/ run a car by burning navel-fluff, dried Eucalyptus leaves and discarded socks.
    Enjoy learning about the chemistry of air-fuel mixtures.
  • thumb
    Apr 25 2013: The first problem is that gunpowder contains its own oxidizer, which makes it explosive. How do you get the right amount of gunpowder into a cylinder without exploding the whole source? The second problem is ignition. Unless you contain it like a cartridge, any residual heat from the previous cylinder firing will prematurely set it off. Since timing is critical, this has to be controlled. The third problem is that since gunpowder is explosive, it probably wouldn't be able to pass safety requirements to make it legal. An accident is liable to be catastrophic.
  • thumb
    Apr 22 2013: My car is already an old banger.
  • thumb
    Apr 22 2013: With sufficient development it would probably work. Not sure about how much bang per buck it would produce. Petrol is just too easy.

  • thumb
    Apr 21 2013: Only by holding-up a gas station.