explodes at 180°C
Tetryl has a variety of names including nitramine; N-methyl-N,2,4,6-tetranitrobenzenamine; N-methyl-N,2,4,6-tetranitroaniline; picrylmethylnitramine; picrylnitromethylamine; 2,4,6-trinitrophenylmethylnitramine; tetralite; and pyronite. Tetryl is a stable explosivecapablee of being handledreasonablyy safe, yet it is still sensitive enough to be used in blasting caps or booster charges. It was first developed in 1889 by the scientists Michler and Meyer and studied in some detail thereafter. It can be heated either in the open or in solvents causing mere decomposition, usually to picric acid. Tetryl is more powerful then even TNT, although the lesser stability compared to TNT makes it less attractive to the military. You must keep tetryl in the dark and away from the skin, it will stain skin and hair yellow as well as cause itching or worse.
|N,N-dimethylaniline||500-mL Erlenmeyer flask|
|ethyl alcohol||graduated cylinder|
|nitric acid||magnetic stirrer|
|sulfuric acid||separatory funnel|
Prepare a solution of 20 mL of N,N-dimethylaniline and 130 mL of 99-100% sulfuric acid in a 500-mL beaker placed in a salt-ice bath. Keep the temperature below 25 °C while mixing this solution. Pour the solution into a separatory funnel and slowly add it, drop by drop, to a 500-mL Erlenmeyer flask containing 160 mL of 80% nitric acid that has been previously heated to 55-60 °C. During the addition, stir continually with a magnetic stirrer, and maintain the temperature between 65-70 °C. The addition should require about 1 hour. After the addition, continue stirring and maintain the temperature at 65-70 °C for an additional hour. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and the crystals of tetryl to precipitate. Decant as much of the acid as possible and drown the remaining crystals with water. Filter to collect the crystals and wash thoroughly with water to remove traces of acid. Add the washed crystals to a beaker of 240 mL of water and boil for 1 hour, continually add water to replace any that boils away, maintaining a constant volume. Again filter to collect the tetryl, add the crystals to a beaker and add enough water to cover the surface, grind these crystals to as fine a paste as possible. Add water equal to twelve times the weight of the crystals and boil for 12 hours. Repeat this with a fresh batch of water and boil for another 4 hours. Filter to collect the crystals and allow them to dry. After drying, add just enough benzene to dissolve the crystals then filter to remove any undissolved impurities. Allow the benzene to evaporate then recrystallize the tetryl residue from ethyl alcohol. You will need a graduated cylinder for measuring liquids, and a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
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