What are the odds you’re going to be sent to King’s Landing to stand in for your father as acting Hand of the King? At best it’s got to be 10/1. Since your chances of meeting with the pyromancers of the Alchemists’ Guild are so low, you are unlikely to get your hands on any caches of wildfire any time soon. That’s why you might want to learn how to make it yourself.
Actually, don’t make it yourself, because even though this video from NurdRage (apparently run by someone in the FBI’s Witness Protection program that needs to hide his real voice) is very cool and full of science (SCIENCE!), this is still potentially harmful stuff that needs to be handled with care.
The first batch of homemade wildfire made here (and before any of you complain, we are talking about the volatile green liquid imagined up by George R.R. Martin for A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones in the sense that it is green, and not that it can burn on water like ancient Greek fire) was simply methanol mixed with borax, which produced a green flame. It wasn’t particularly bright or long lasting though (orange flames began to appear shortly after lighting due to sodium in the borax).
To create something more substantial, he mixed 200 grams of borax and 650mL of methanol, then (carefully) added 100g of sulfuric acid, and set up a fractional distillation. After 10 hours at 54 degrees Celsius, it gave him an azeotropic trimethyl borate that produced a “purer” wildfire. You can see the difference in the intensity and length of the green flames for each substance.
(This is the same stuff used by the scientists that made this video we brought you before, but this time we got the actual science behind it all.)
So even though you might never be called on to save your city and family from an invading fleet, it never hurts to be prepared. Wildfire might not be real, but science is.
What other fictional substance would you like to learn how to make in real life? Light up our comments section below with your thoughts.