Charcoal Mixed Hardwood Airfloat is a complex organic substance containing moisture, ash, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and a variety of volatiles. All of these elements have a vital use in fireworks.
Charcoal made from mixed hardwood is great for making charcoal stars like Nishiki Kamuro and Chrysanthemum shells.
Charcoal made from eastern red cedar and paulownia are considered great for black powder, while hardwood charcoals e.g. southern yellow pine charcoal are commonly used for spark effects. The particle size and the process used to make the charcoal also play an important role in the quality of the charcoal for a specific purpose.
Along with Potassium Nitrate Sulfur, charcoal is one of the ingredients in making Black Powder. Generally, the proportions of the ingredients are 75% KNO3, 15% Charcoal and 10% Sulfur. Each component is ground separately before they are all mixed together to form black powder. The name Black Powder brings to mind explosives and gunpowder, but it was first used to make fireworks long before the invention of firearms.
Charcoal dust is easily breathed in, and a dust mask should be worn when working with it (black boogers).