Fun fact 9/29/2016

Gunpowder recipes call for charcoal and sulfur in small quantities, both of which aren’t too hard to find, but the main ingredient – potassium nitrate, also called saltpeter – was only synthesized on a large-scale in the early 20th century. Prior to that, makers of gunpowder took advantage of the nitrogen naturally found in urine to make the key ingredient for ballistic firepower.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/from-gunpowder-to-teeth-whitener-the-science-behind-historic-uses-of-urine-442390/?no-ist=

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