Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A New Explosive - Melt-castable nitrate ester with high explosive energy

13.10.2008
Since the discovery of nitroglycerin in 1846, the nitrate ester group of compounds has been known for its explosive properties.

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:dechavez@lanl.gov

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
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>