DDNP is an acronym for diazodinitrophenol, it is also known as 4,6-dinitrobenzene-2-diazo-1-oxide, and Dinol. DDNP is a picric acid derivative with somewhat good stability and explosive velocity. It is still susceptible to heat, friction, and shock making it a primary explosive. Its preparation is very simple, needing only picramic acid, sodium or potassium nitrite, and some dilute hydrochloric or sulfuric acid. Obtaining the picramic acid will be impossible for most, so I included how it can be prepared in the synthesis section. This compound was first prepared by Dr. Griess in 1858, this led him to conduct ground breaking research on the diazotization reaction.
|hydrochloric acid||graduated cylinder|
|picramic acid||magnetic stirrer/stirring rod|
Diazodinitrophenol is prepared by a diazotization reaction, this happens when an amine substituient, NH2, on an aromatic ring, , loses its hydrogen atoms and forms a triple bond with another nitrogen atom. Place 120 mL of 5% hydrochloric acid in a 250-mL beaker, then immerse the beaker in a salt-ice bath. Place the ice bath on top of a magnetic stirrer and drop a spin bar in the beaker. Slowly add 10 g of picramic acid to the acid solution while stirring rapidly, monitor the temperature with a thermometer. Be sure there is no sudden rise in temperature. If you do not have a magnetic stirrer, use a stirring rod and stir like the wind. Dissolve 3.6 g of sodium nitrite in 10 mL of water. After the picramic acid has dissolved, add the sodium nitrite solution all at once and continue stirring for 20 minutes. Filter the solution to collect the dark brown crystals that should have formed and wash them with cold water. The diazodinitrophenol thus formed can be used as is, or it can be purified by dissolving in hot acetone then precipitated by adding a large volume of ice water while rapidly mixing the liquid. This treatment will convert the diazodinitrophenol into bright yellow crystals. You will need a graduated cylinder for measuring liquids.
The diazodinitrophenol must be dried before it will explode. Drying will take 24 hours if done at room temperature, or in 2 hours if the crystals are placed in a beaker suspended in hot water. The diazodinitrophenol must be stored in a sealed glass container. Storing the explosive moist, about 25% water, will increase safety. Dry immediately before use. DDNP will detonate if it is struck by a sharp blow, but it will only burn rapidly if ignited in the open, even several grams.
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