Improved Low-Toxicity Explosives

Improved Low-Toxicity Explosives


Energetic materials (EMs), i.e., explosives, propellants, and pyrotechnics, need to balance stability and safety with detonation performance. Additionally, the compounds should be as environmentally friendly as possible and non-toxic. The stability of EMs can be improved by a planar structure, which leads to better crystal packing, and by amino substituents, which allow for stabilizing hydrogen bonding. A large nitrogen/carbon ratio improves detonation performance.

Alexander Aizikovich, Michael Gozin, Tel-Aviv University, Israel, and colleagues have synthesized several 1,2,4,5-tetrazine-bis-1,2,4-triazoles (example pictured) as improved energetic materials. The team combined 3,6-bis(3,5-dimethyl-1H-pyrazol-1-yl)-1,2,4,5-tetrazine (BPT) with 1H-3,5-diamino-1,2,4-triazole (DAT) in sulfolane to give the desired triazole-tetrazine derivatives. The amino-substituted compounds could be further functionalized to give bis-azido and dinitro derivatives.

The team tested the compounds’ stability and detonation performance and found high thermostability and low impact sensitivity, especially for the amino-substituted compounds. The detonation performance is limited due to a lack of oxygen in the compounds, but the addition of oxidants such as ammonium dinitramide (ADN) leads to greatly improved performance with high specific impulses and a large amount of gas release. Additionally, the compounds were found to be less toxic than typical nitramine explosives. According to the researchers, the developed EMs could be used as solid-state nitrogen gas generators and as components of solid propellants.


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