Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Eco-Friendly Pyrotechnics

Fireworks pollute—nitrogen-rich compounds now pave the way for ecological alternatives

You know it is chemistry when it stinks and goes boom—and entrances us. “No other application in the field of chemistry has such a positive association for the general population as fireworks,” says Thomas Klapötke (University of Munich, Germany). “However, pyrotechnical applications are significant polluters of the environment.”

In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Klapötke and his co-author Georg Steinhauser (TU Vienna, Austria) give an overview of how nitrogen-rich compounds and other new strategies could help to limit the danger to the environment.

In addition to fireworks, the field of pyrotechnics includes applications like airbags, signal flares, propellants and charges for civil and military purposes, and the production of nanoporous metal foams for catalysis, hydrogen storage, and insulation.

... more about:
»Agent »Klapötke »compounds »propellant »pyrotechnic

Pyrotechnical materials contain an oxidizer and a reducing agent; depending on the application, binding material, propellant charges, coloring agents and smoke- and sound-producing agents can be added. When a firework or other pyrotechnic is set off, it releases a whole cocktail of poisons damaging to humans and the environment: heavy metals like lead, barium and chromium, chlorates, dioxins, smoke and particulates, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen and sulfur oxides. “For a long time, the consequences of this were not considered,” says Klapötke, “in the mean time scientists have been working on more environmentally friendly alternatives.” As usual, the main stumbling block is price pressure because the new products must compete with the established ones. Klapötke says, “Lawmakers and other promoters must intercede to address this.”

“Modern developments in pyrotechnics are aimed at the use of nitrogen-rich compounds,” according to Klapötke. In contrast to conventional energetic substances, these do not draw their energy from the oxidation of the carbon backbone, but from their high heats of formation, which are released upon their decomposition. Interesting candidates include derivatives of tetrazoles, five-membered rings made of four nitrogen and one carbon atom, as well as tetrazines, six-membered rings made of four nitrogen and two carbon atoms. Aminotetrazole salts with the nontoxic metals lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium and cesium result in red, orange, violet, purple, and pink colored flames. The trouble is with the color green. Intensive research is being carried out in search of barium-free green-burning salts based on copper compounds.

The class of nitrogen-rich pyrotechnics does not offer only environmentally friendly combustion products; they often offer better color quality and intensity than conventional mixtures. Nitrogen-rich propellants demonstrate improved performance and burn smoke free.

Author: Thomas M. Klapötke, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany),

Title: “Green” Pyrotechnics: A Chemists´ Challenge

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.200704510

Thomas M. Klapötke | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:

Further reports about: Agent Klapötke compounds propellant pyrotechnic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Strong, steady forces at work during cell division
20.10.2016 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Disturbance wanted
20.10.2016 | Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

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...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

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...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

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...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>