I don't understand what thermite has to do with seperating alum powder + water, but personally I would pour it into a container, apply a low amount of heat and wait for the water to evaporate.
Thermite is a mixture of aluminum and iron oxide. When ignited/mixed, it gives off extreme amount of heat that can burn away anything (i.e. Evidence). www.textfiles.com Formulas are by Weight Thermites are a group of pyrotechnics mixtures in which a reactive metal reduces oxygen from a metallic oxide. This produces a lot of heat, slag and pure metal. The most common themite is ferroaluminum thermite, made from aluminum (reactive metal) and iron oxide (metal oxide). When it burns it produces aluminum oxide (slag) and pure iron. Thermite is usually used to cut or weld metal. As an experiment, a 3lb. Brick of thermite was placed on an aluminum engine block. After the thermite was done burning, only a small portion of block was melted. However, the block was very warped out of shape plus there were cracks all through the block. Ferro-thermite produces about 930 calories per gram The usual proportions of ferro-thermite are 25% aluminum and 75% iron oxide The iron oxide usually used is not rust (Fe2O3) but iron scale (Fe3O4).Rust will work but you may want to adjust the mixture to about 77% rust. The aluminum is usually coarse powder to help slow down the burning rate. The chemicals are mixed together thoroughly and compressed into a suitable container. A first fire mix is poured on top and ignited. NOTE: Thermites are generally very safe to mix and store. They are not shock or friction sensitive and ignite at about 2000 degrees F. A first fire mix is a mixture that ignites easier than thermite and burns hot enough to light the thermite reliably. A very good one is : Potassium Nitrate 5 parts Fine ground Aluminum 3 parts Sulfur 2 parts Mix the above thoroughly and combine 2 parts of it with 1 part of finely powdered ferro-thermite. The resulting mixture can be light by safety fuse and burns intensely. One problem with thermites is the difference in weight between the aluminum and the oxide. This causes them to separate out rendering the thermite useless. One way to fix this is to use a binder to hold the chemicals to each other. Sulfur is good for this. Called Diasite, this formula uses sulfur to bind all the chemicals together. It's drawback is the thermite must be heated to melt the sulfur. Iron Oxide 70 % Aluminum 23 % Sulfur 7 % Mix the oxide and aluminum together and put them in an oven at 325 degrees F. And let the mix heat for a while. When the mixture is hot sprinkle the sulfur over it and mix well. Put this back in the oven for a few minutes to melt all the sulfur. Pull it back out and mix it again. While it is still hot, load into containers for use. When it cools, drill out the diasite to hold about 10 - 15 grams of first fire mix. When diasite burns it forms sulfide compounds that release hydrogen sulfide when in contact with water. This rotten egg odor can hamper fire fighting efforts. Thermite can be made not to separate by compressing it under a couple of tons pressure. The resulting pellet is strong and burns slower than thermite powder. CAST THERMITE: This formula can be cast into molds or containers and hardens into a solid mass. It does not produce as much iron as regular ferro-thermite , but it makes a slag which stays liquid a lot longer. Make a mixtures as follows. Plaster of Paris 2 parts Fine and Coarse Mixed Aluminum 2 parts Iron Oxide 3 parts Mix together well and and enough water to wet down plaster. Pour it into a mold and let it sit for 1/2 hour. Pour off any extra water that seperates out on top. Let this dry in the sun for at least a week. Or dry in the sun for one day and put in a 250 degree F. Oven for a couple of hours. Drill it out for a first fire mix when dry. ====== www.thecatalyst.org this reaction iron (III) oxide is reduced to metallic iron by aluminum. It is reported that the reaction will reach a temperature of about 3000°C, meaning both reaction products are molten (mp Fe = 1530°C; mp Al2O3 = 2030°C). ====== how2dostuff.blogspot.com To Make Thermite: Now, I am not going to tell you guys what thermite is, or what you can do with it. Just do a Google search and you'll find tons of sites telling you a bunch of uses for it. I will however, tell you how to make the stuff. Obtaining the Aluminum 1) Go to a machine shop. They will usually give you aluminum powder for sweeping the floor or something. 2) Break open an Etch-A-Sketch, the stuff inside is pure aluminum powder. 3) Go to a paint store, they usually have powdered aluminum that people use to mix into paints to give it pigment. 4) Get a grinder, and something made of aluminum. Good ideas are soda cans, bike frames, and lacrosse sticks. Start grinding the aluminum and collect the sparks in a container. 5) Search eBay, they sell it for pretty cheap. Obtaining the Iron Oxide (Rust) 1) Take some steel wool then put it in a jar and then cover it wool with water. Use a magnet to make sure the steel wool doesnt float during the reaction process. Next, put in 5 tablespoons of regular bleach into the water and 5 tablespoons of regular vinager. Wait a day or so and then filter the brown paste with a coffee filter. Leave it out to dry overnight. 2) Go to a paint store, they usually have powdered iron oxide that people use to mix into paints to give it pigment. 3) Connect wires to a direct current (9-volt battery), strip both ends and put them into a saltwater solution. Let them sit for five minutes. One of them will start bubbling more than the other. This is the POSITIVE(+) wire. Put a nail tied to the positive wire into the jar. Now put the negative wire in the other end. Now let it sit overnight and in the morning scrape the rust off of the nail & repeat until you have a bunch of rust on the bottom of the glass. Let it dry out, and crush it into a powder. 4) Search eBay, they sell it for pretty cheap. ====== www.encyclopedia.com [from Thermit, a trade name], mixture of powdered or granular aluminum metal and powdered iron oxide. When ignited it gives off large amounts of heat. In wartime it has been used in incendiary bombs. A method for welding using thermite (invented by Dr. Hans Goldschmidt, a German chemist) is variously called the Goldschmidt process, the thermit process, or the aluminothermic process; it is used in welding large parts, e.g., castings, shafts, pipes, and steel rails. In the process the thermite, contained in a crucible, is ignited, e.g., by a strip of burning magnesium ribbon. The aluminum reduces the iron oxide to molten iron and forms a slag of aluminum oxide on its surface. The reaction is very exothermic; temperatures above 2,500°C (4,500°F) are often reached. Typically, the molten iron is poured into the joint to be welded, providing both heat for fusion and filler metal. Excess metal may be removed when the weld cools. Because thermite reacts with explosive violence once ignited, it cannot be heated as a mass to its kindling temperature (about 1,550°C/2,800°F); Goldschmidt was first to find a method for igniting thermite without explosion. He used a similar method to prepare various metals, e.g., chromium, manganese, and uranium, from their oxides. Sources: www.thecatalyst.org