The first one they took on was when Walt and Jesse were going to use hydrofluoric acid to dispose of a body in “Cat’s in the Bag” — and instead Jesse ate a hole through his upstairs bathroom and down onto the main floor below.
In the first, smaller-scale experiment, it turns out the hydrofluoric acid only ate through the cast-iron and the drywall and did not completely get rid of the pig that was substituting for a human body. The steel, linoleum and wood were unaffected by the acid.
The methbusters did find a mixture that would liquify a dead pig’s body, like the body in the bathtub. It was made up of sulfuric acid and a “secret sauce” that turbo-charges the acid. The methbusters aren’t “actually in the business of showing people how to dispose of bodies,” so they are not revealing the turbo-charge ingredient. Heh.
Out in the middle of nowhere, the methbusters reconstruct the bathroom scene with a whole pig to represent the body and the mixture of the sulfuric acid and the secret ingredient does liquify the pig. However, it doesn’t eat through the bathtub and floor below, so that “Breaking Bad” scene is scientific falsehood.
In order to recreate the show’s results, they up the amount of sulfuric acid and mystery ingredient and then use a fiberglass tub. That combination does eviscerate the pig completely, but still does not destroy the fiberglass bathtub and the floor beneath.
The second methbuster is the mercury fulminate that Walt used in “Crazy Handful of Nothin’.” Awesomely, the methbusters find a chemist named Jesse who specializes in illegal chemicals and has consulted with the military to manufacture the mercury fulminate.
The explosive they use is in powder form — apparently turning it into a crystallized form would be very dangerous — and a small amount used as a test successfully blows up a pumpkin.
When they reconstruct the room where Walt destroyed Tuco in “Season 1,” a machine standing in for Walt does not blow everything to kingdom come by throwing the mercury fulminate down. But Gilligan says that in his mind, Walt had mixed in a little silver fulminate with his bag of blue crystals.
The second try with the mercury fulminate adds a blasting cap (which contains silver fulminate). That time, there’s an explosion, but the windows remain intact. Also, the bad guy and Walt stand-ins are injured (and probably asphyxiating because of the windows not having exploded).
The third time’s the charm, when the entire room goes kaboom, though they have to use an enormous batch of mercury fulminate — five times the amount that Walt used on the show. That much explosive also kills everyone inside.