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What Chemicals are Used in Fireworks?

By Shiwani PandeyOctober 27, 2022
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Learn How Fireworks are Made

If you have ever looked towards the night sky filled with loads of colourful fireworks, you would definitely admit to one thing. They are incredibly beautiful to look at. In fact, one of the most common reasons why people enjoy firecrackers is that despite the air pollution, they happen to provide fantastic visuals. But do you know how firecrackers are made? How exactly do you get the colours in those firecrackers in the first place? Well, these are some questions that we will answer today. 

Fireworks in the Sky

Fireworks in the Sky

Also Read: Celebrate Diwali 2022 Without Crackers: Here's How

Whether it is Diwali or New Years' or simply India winning a match, firecrackers are one of the best ways to celebrate something. It is all about the festivities and fun when we are talking about firecrackers, for sure. But have you wondered what happens behind the scenes? Fireworks are actually all about the right chemical and engineering.

Only by achieving the right mechanism and proportion of chemicals will one be able to create the best fireworks for sure. Yes, all the amazing and entertaining fireworks are nothing but different chemical reactions that take place inside the firecracker. So, let's understand what chemicals are used in fireworks Class 10 and what are the components of a firecracker. 

The Science of Making Fireworks: Pyrotechnics

Firecrackers are incredibly beautiful and gorgeous to look at, especially in the night sky. When you see a sky full of glowing lights from the firecrackers, there is no doubt that you are elated to watch such amazing visuals. But besides spectating the beautiful fireworks, you also have to know how they tend to work in the first place. First things first, the art of making fireworks is called Pyrotechnics. This word is an amalgamation of two different Greek words – ‘Pyro’, which means fire and ‘tekhnicos’, which means ‘created by art’. 

Pyrotechnics is basically the Science behind creating different exothermic reactions. Now, what are exothermic reactions? These are the reactions that tend to release some kind of heat. With pyrotechnics, the firecracker is able to produce light, heat, sound, or smoke. Pyrotechnics can be used for creating explosive bolts, automotive airbags, oxygen candles, and much more. In fact, this scientific process is used for demolition purposes and gas pressure blasting in quarrying and mining fields as well. 

So, there are three different components in the firework – some kind of fuel, an oxidizer, and some chemicals which are used to provide the colours. Oxidisers are basically the chemics that are used for creating the fire element. Some of the oxidisers most commonly used in firecrackers are chlorates, perchlorates, and nitrates. 

The job of the fuel is to efficiently combine all of the oxygen that is released by the oxidizer. Hence, the chemical bonds are broken in the fuel. This will then result in the creation of energy in the bonds, which leads to the explosion effect. The common fuels which are used in firecrackers are sulphur and charcoal. In order to start these chemical reaction chains, all you will require is a bit of fire. 

What Does the Body of a Firework Looks Like? 

Commonly, aerial fireworks are basically made in a shape that resembles a shell, and there are 4 major components in them. 

  • Container: It is made using cardboard or paper and formed to shape like a cylinder.

  • Fuse: It is the little wick or the tail that will hang out of the firework. There is very fine gunpowder in the tail which is created using potassium nitrate, sulphur, and charcoal. When you light up the wick or the tail, it will burn at a very controlled rate. Also, this provides some time for the person who is standing right in front of the firework to move away and keep a safe distance. 

Beneath the shell, there is another very small cylinder which has some gunpowder which provides the lifting charge to the firework and carries it up in the sky. 

  • Bursting Charge: The centre of the shell has another cylinder that provides the bursting charge to the firework. 

  • Stars: These are basically the small compartments in the firework, which are shaped like cubes, cylinders or spheres and contain metal salts arranged properly and systematically so that they can burst to form colourful patterns in the sky after the firework bursts.

How Do You Get Colours in Firecrackers? 

The chemical used in crackers is the main reason why you can see many colours in the sky once the fireworks start. The colours in the fireworks actually come from two different compounds. These compounds are the binder and the colourant. The colourant chemicals are the main providers of the colours in the firework. The binder is actually the agent that binds the fuel, which is responsible for fuel that tends to burn up the colourant in the firework.

The colourants can be created with the use of different metallic salts. Salts, in chemical terms, can be defined as the iconic compound which contains an anion or an acid and a cation or a base. Various types of salts tend to exist in nature. One of the major types of salt is metal salt. These metal salts are responsible for creating different intense colours when they are burned. This is the main reason why they are mostly used in fireworks.


As we have seen in fireworks, different colours come out during the explosion. It is due to the use of various types of chemicals as well. For example, if you use calcium salts in the firework, it will produce an orange colour, and if you are using copper salts, it will produce a bright blue colour. 


So, now you have the answer to what chemicals are used in fireworks Class 10 question. After reading this article, we are pretty sure that you understood the process and components of creating fireworks. So, let us know what colour of fireworks is your favourite to watch.