decomposes at 171 °C
|maltose octanitrate||molecular mass
Maltose octanitrate, also called nitromaltose, is a powerful, somewhat sensitive explosive used militarily in blasting caps. This compound does decompose over time, losing about 23% over a 43 day period, so it is best to use this compound within a reasonable time after preparation. In the mean time keep it stored in a cool place as elevated temperatures will accelerate the decomposition. A useful detonator called maltobenzit can be made by thoroughly blending 10 g of maltose octanitrate with 5 g of m-dinitrobenzene at 70 ° in a kneading machine with 20 g of benzene. The resulting plastic mass is heated to 95 °C while the kneading is continued, and then cooled.
|ethyl alcohol||250-mL beaker/flask|
|ethyl ether||graduated cylinder|
|nitric acid||stirrer/stirring rod|
Dehydrate 20 g of pure maltose by heating in a hot oven for 45-60 minutes. Throughly mix the dried maltose with 0.5 g of urea nitrate in a 250-mL beaker or Florence flask. Place the beaker or flask in a salt-ice bath and slowly add 40 mL of 99% nitric acid drop by drop with a pipet or buret. Stir the mixture constantly during the acid addition and maintain a temperature of 0-2 °C. The liquid should turn a brownish color at this point. While stirring, slowly add 55 mL of fuming sulfuric acid containing about 25% SO3. If at any point brown fumes begin to evolve, stop adding the acid and let it cool before continuing. After all the acid has been added, the mixture is warmed to 80 °C and poured into a large volume of ice water. The yellow solid precipitate that should have formed is seperated by filtration and washed sequentially with 1% sodium bicarbonate solution and water. To remove any remaining urea nitrate, the precipitate is recrystallized twice from a 1:2 ethyl alcohol/ethyl ether solution and dried. The yield should be a whopping 159% of the theoritical yield, or 31.8 g. You will need a graduated cylinder for measuring liquids, a stirring rod or magnetic stirrer for mixing, and a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
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