Typically, petrified wood takes millions of years to naturally produce, as minerals seep into the wood and replace the wood cells. The end product is a strong, hard mineral block in the shape of wood that holds the durability and fireproof qualities of rock. It is possible to simulate this process at a far faster rate with chemical reactions at home, and while the result can not technically go under the definition of authentic petrified wood, it has the same appearance and similar fire-resistance. This trait makes homemade petrified wood especially well-suited to construction.
Things You'll Need
- Mineral-rich water
- Large container
- Spring or volcanic water
- Sodium silicate solution, with at least 15-percent sodium silicate in dry form
- Dilute acid
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Mix together water with mineral clay such as Freeport clay, microlite, China clay, pascalite Montana clay, volcanic ash, desert mineral clay, or bentonite. Mix 5-pounds of clay for every 5-gallons of water. Begin by mixing 1-pound of clay with 1-gallon of water. This creates the mineral-rich water needed for the reaction.
Fill a very large container with 20-gallons of spring or volcanic water and pour in the mineral-rich water.
Pour in 10-gallons of sodium silicate solution, otherwise known as water glass.
Add a little over 1-teaspoon of diluted citric acid with a pH level from 4 to 5.5.
Coat the wood with the solution, brushing it over the wood which requires the fireproof protection of petrification. If possible, it works best to completely cover the wood by dunking it into the solution a few times.