Charcoal finds widespread use in pyrotechnics. Many types of charcoal exist,
each with its own properties. It is a complex organic substance containing
moisture, ash, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and a variety of volatiles. All of these
elements have a vital use in fireworks. Charcoal made from willow or grapevine is considered great for
black powder, while hardwood charcoals e.g. pine charcoal are commonly used for
spark effects. The particle size and the process used to make the charcoal also
play an important role in the quality of the charcoal for a specific purpose.
Very fine charcoal floats in air
and is therefore sometimes referred to as 'airfloat'.
Fine charcoal dust is easily breathed in, and a dust mask should be worn when
working with it. Freshly prepared charcoal can be pyrophoric even when not powdered and it
must be allowed to stand for a day at least before it is used in any
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