Black powder is a mixture consisting of basic components such as potassium nitrate (saltpetre), sulfur and Charcoal.
Potassium nitrate serves as oxidant, sulfur eases ignition and charcoal delivers carbon.  The components are mixed in various ratios, compacted and shredded. The particular mixture, the kind charcoal, grade of compaction, grain size and surface treatment determine the features and the usage of the various black powders.

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