A whole series of other nitrate esters have been subsequently put to use as explosives and fuels. A research team led by David E. Chavez at Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA) has now developed a novel tetranitrate ester.
As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the compound has a particularly interesting characteristic profile: it is solid at room temperature, is a highly powerful explosive, and can be melt-cast into the desired shape.
Nitrate esters are organic nitric acid compounds that can contain enormous explosive force. However, their liquid physical state makes handling very difficult. By mixing in various other components, Alfred Nobel developed dynamite, a distinctly safer and easier to handle nitroglycerine-based explosive. The only solid nitrate ester used as an explosive before is nitropenta. Because of its high melting point of about 140 °C, nitropenta must be pressed into the desired form.
Chavez and his co-workers have now made another nitrate ester to give nitropenta a run for its money. Thanks to its low melting point of only about 85 °C, which is well below its decomposition point (141 °C), it can be melted and poured into molds, a much easier process for the production of explosive components.
The new compound contains four nitrate ester groups (–ONO2) and two nitrate groups (–NO2) bound to a total of six carbon atoms. Its crystals demonstrate the highest density found for a nitrate ester so far. Computer calculations predict that the new tetranitrate ester should have an explosive power as high as that of octogen (HMX) — currently one of the highest-performance explosives. The sensitivity of the new compound toward shocks, friction, and sparks is equivalent to that of nitropenta.
“Because of its amazing properties, the new nitrate ester opens up a unique opportunity to produce castable explosive components,” says Chavez. “In addition, it could also be used as a highly energetic softener for other explosives, and as an oxidizer component.”
The researchers also plan to use their new synthetic route for the development of other explosive materials.
Author: David E. Chavez, Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA), mailto:email@example.com
Title: Synthesis of an Energetic Nitrate Ester
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2008, 47, No. 43, 8306–8308, doi: 10.1002/anie.200803648
David E. Chavez | Angewandte Chemie
Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences