In Dr. Stone Sekku couldn't make gunpowder anymore because Tsukasa has the control of the cave full of bats, source of saltpeter used in gun powder and nitric acid. So in which other way could Sekku create the required saltpeter?

Also could Sekku make gun cotton or TNT instead of gunpowder and use that for explosive instead of gunpowder? If yes how could do that?

2 Answers 2


In Ch. 8 when they make the gunpowder Senku already had a bag of potassium nitrate (saltpeter) prepared which he says he prepared long in advance. Remember, before Senku and Taiju brought back the petrified Tsukasa and heard his cull the herd ramblings they had a monopoly on the cave with the nitric acid which gave Senku ample time to make the useful chemical saltpeter. Besides its use as a component of gunpowder which was certainly one of Senku's considerations potassium nitrate is a good fertilizer in case they wanted to plant some crops and one of the easier chemical oxidizers for him to make.

As to why he didn't try for a different explosive is not explicit but TNT would not have been a viable alternative for a myriad of reasons. I'm mostly reading off wikipedia for this but the first step is to nitrate toluene in the presence of nitric and sulfuric acid, while they have some nitric acid they do not obtain sulfuric acid until much later as the process for making sulfuric acid isn't something they had the tools to do. Both of those chemicals are very dangerous and they don't yet possess glassware to store them safely. TNT also started out as yellow dye, people of ages past were not really dumb and really dead though as TNT is incredibly stable in standard conditions which is one of its most important features. To detonate it you need some sort of blasting cap which is itself a small explosive and at that point you'd probably just want a different explosive. Gun cotton is similar as it can be made using plant fibers and nitric acid but is very unstable in that form and in its proper form also requires sulfuric acid. They theoretically could have made something else that involves none of sulfuric acid, oil or better containers but gunpowder is stable and powerful enough for the limited time and resources they had

  • So if Senku has already a handfull saltpeter and Sulfiuric Acid (obtained from the volcano), then why did he not continued to make gunpowder but instead tried to make cellphones? Dec 6, 2019 at 14:41
  • @DimitriosDesyllas Senku is a proponent of non-violent resolutions to problems, when discussing what they'd do with the gunpowder he says he's going to use it as a threat against Tsukasa rather than killing him with it. When they do obtain sulfuric acid its clear Senku isn't looking to kill Tsukasa and his followers but convert them, starting by making contact with Taiju who he hasn't spoken to in months
    – Gatchwar
    Dec 6, 2019 at 15:58

Spoilers from the manga

In chapter 77 he makes nitroglycerin,


They get nitroglycerin (C3H5N3O9) from glycerin/glycerol (C3H8O3) + nitric acid (HNO3) + Ms. Sulfurina (H2SO4). It is indeed pale yellow, and the fumes will cause headaches/dizziness


How Senku did nitroglycerin

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