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Next-generation Explosives: More Power And Safety Without The Pollution

Date:
May 27, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in Germany are reporting development of a new generation of explosives that is more powerful than TNT and other existing explosives, less apt to detonate accidentally, and produce fewer toxic byproducts.

Biochemists report that a full detonation of a sample of a new type of nitrogen-rich explosive produces fewer toxic byproducts and is easier to handle than its carbon-rich counterparts.
Credit: Courtesy of Michael Goebel, Ludwig-Maximilians University

Scientists in Germany are reporting development of a new generation of explosives that is more powerful than TNT and other existing explosives, less apt to detonate accidentally, and produce fewer toxic byproducts.

Their study of these more environmentally friendly explosives is scheduled for the June 24 issue of ACS’ Chemistry of Materials, a bi-weekly journal.

In the new study, Thomas M. Klapötke and Carles Miró Sabate point out that conventional explosives such as TNT, RDX and HMX, widely-used in military weapons, are rich in carbon and tend to produce toxic gases upon ignition.

In addition to polluting the environment, these materials are also highly sensitive to physical shock, such as hard impacts and electric sparks, making their handling extremely dangerous. Greener, safer explosives are needed, the researchers say.

To meet this need, Klapötke and Sabate turned to a recently explored class of materials called tetrazoles, which derive most of their explosive energy from nitrogen instead of carbon. They identified two promising tetrazoles: HBT and G2ZT. The researchers developed tiny “bombs” out of these materials and detonated them in the laboratory. The materials showed less sensitivity to shock than conventional explosives and produced fewer toxic products when burned, the researchers say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Klapötke, Thomas M. and Sabaté, Carles Miró. Bistetrazoles: Nitrogen-Rich, High-Performing, Insensitive Energetic Compounds. Chem. Mater., 2008 doi: 10.1021/cm703657k

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Next-generation Explosives: More Power And Safety Without The Pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080526153255.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, May 27). Next-generation Explosives: More Power And Safety Without The Pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080526153255.htm
American Chemical Society. "Next-generation Explosives: More Power And Safety Without The Pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080526153255.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

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