TACC is an acronym for tetraamminecopper (II) chlorate. It is a somewhat sensitive primary explosive compound, useful for detonators, but too dangerous for larger quantities. TACC is rendered useless by moisture and by being dead-pressed. TACC is safe to handle in the open, it can only be detonated while confined, otherwise it just burns with a green flame. In order for TACC to detonate in a blasting cap it must be filled as a loose powder then protected from moisture. The chemicals used in this preparation are not very common but can be obtained or synthesized.
|ethyl alcohol||500-mL Erlenmeyer flask|
|methyl alcohol||evaporation dish|
|sodium chlorate||500-mL Florence flask|
Prepare a mixture of 15 g of sodium chlorate and 24 g of cupric sulfate in 360 mL of anhydrous ethyl alcohol in a round-bottomed 500-mL Florence flask. Anhydrous methyl alcohol can be substituted for ethyl alcohol. Reflux the contents of the flask for 30 minutes at the boiling point of the alcohol, or as close as can be reached depending on how efficient your reflux column is. You will need to stir the mixture with a magnetic stirrer during the reaction. After refluxing you should have a green solution. Filter this solution to remove any impurities that may remain. Add the filtrate to a 500-mL Erlenmeyer flask and bubble dry ammonia gas through the liquid for 20 minutes, the use of a bubbler can help. After this time the solution should be dark blue. After the ammonia addition, pour the liquid into an evaporation dish and allow it to evaporate to half its original volume. You can use a fan or low heat to speed up the process. Crystals of TACC should precipitate after several hours. Filter the liquid to collect the crystals and wash them with 50 mL of very cold methyl alcohol. Put the crystals in a desiccator for 24 hours to dry them, then store in an airtight container to protect against moisture. You will need a graduated cylinder for measuring liquids.
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