decomposes at 200 °C
This explosive comes from a study of nitroparaffin explosive derivatives done in 1941. This material is very resistant to heat, shock, friction, etc., it even resists blasting caps thus requiring a larger charge to detonate. Unfortunately it has poor stability after it is synthesized, it will not explode, but it will decompose. It has been deemed unworthy in the eyes of the military because of this. Otherwise it has 75% the power of nitroglycerine, it causes headaches like nitroglycerine, and it can gelatinize nitrocellulose pretty good.
|ethyl ether||500-mL Erlenmeyer flask|
|nitric acid||separatory funnel|
|sodium bicarbonate||stirrer/stirring rod|
Prepare a mixture of 40 mL of 90.5% nitric acid and 130 mL of 103% sulfuric acid (oleum with 3% sulfur trioxide) in a 500-mL Erlenmeyer flask, and cool to 15 °C in a salt-ice bath. Slowly add, with fast stirring, 50 g of 2-methyl-2-nitro-1-propanol to the acid mix while maintaining the temperature as close to 15 °C as possible. Continue stirring for 1 hour after the addition then let it stand for 15 minutes. Pour the contents of the flask over some crushed ice to separate the product. Add this mixture to a separatory funnel where the bottom layer of spent acids can be removed. Wash the remaining product with water, sodium bicarbonate solution, and again with water until the washings are neutral to litmus. Combine the washings with the spent acid and extract with ethyl ether to obtain additional product. Wash the ethyl ether until neutral to litmus and add it to the main product. Allow the ethyl ether to evaporate and dry the residue in a vacuum desiccator. The yield is about 50%. 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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