Do eco-friendly fireworks exist?
While you're looking up at the incredible firework display above you, take a moment to think about the effect it is having on the atmosphere.
Asked by: Stuart Taylor, by email
Environmentally-friendly fireworks have been developed to reduce the amount of atmospheric pollution produced. Traditional fireworks are normally made using a charcoal and sulphur fuel, a perchlorate oxidiser to help with burning, plus binders, colourants and propellants. When ignited, the pyrotechnics are spectacular, but they emit large amounts of smoke, unused perchlorates and metal by-products from the colourants, all of which are contaminates.
Eco-friendly fireworks have a clean burning, nitrogen-based fuel. This means a perchlorate oxidiser is not needed and because there is little smoke, only small amounts of metal salts are needed to produce the brilliantly coloured flames.
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