Mr Home Scientist shows us how to Make Silicon Metal using a Thermite including Sand. If you haven’t seen the destructive power of thermite before have a look at this video where some is used to kill a hard drive. If you intend to play with the stuff be very careful and only use it in an environment where there isn’t much around that can’t burn, a kitchen sink would be a bad choice. You can see the nice looking silicon metal at the end of the video which is the result of this burn. Good thing Youtube doesn’t have smell-o-vision since this substance would not smell good!
“The ideal ratio for this type of thermite is 1.67:1 SiO2:Al, but here I use a 9:10:12 mix of SiO2:Al:S (by weight). The ideal composition of just sand and aluminum is very difficult to ignite, so the sulfur is needed for a side reaction with the extra aluminum that provides the heat to drive the real reaction.”