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Octanitrocubane the most powerful HE yet developed

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posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 10:18 PM
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A new explosive - octanitrocubane - has been synthesized by chemists Philip E. Eaton and Mao-Xi Zhang at the University of Chicago and its structure proven by Richard Gilardi of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. According to calculations, octanitrocubane could be more powerful than the best non-nuclear explosives.

How does the explosive effect come about? Oxygen atoms contained in the molecules of the explosive oxidize the other "combustible" parts of the molecule, in most cases carbon and hydrogen. This causes heat and hot gases to be released very quickly - leading to an explosion. In a detonation, the most violent form of explosion, speeds up to 10,000 m/s, temperatures up to 6,000 °C, and pressures up to 300,000 bar can be achieved in the shock wave.

Molecules that contain nitro groups (NO2) are good candidates for explosives. The nitro group provides the essential oxygen for the combustion, and furthermore, the nitrogen atoms are converted to dinitrogen (N2), increasing the volume of liberated gas. The widely-used explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT) is already a "classic": TNT was discovered in 1863. More powerful than TNT is HMX (octogen), an eight-membered ring made of carbon and nitrogen atoms, which supports four nitro groups.


www.wiley-vch.de...

Compare this to HMX ( what was stolen from the Iraqi bunker recently )which has a detonation rate of around 8500 m/s.




posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 10:25 PM
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Hmmm, sounds like fun stuff. Can I have some?



posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by taibunsuu
Hmmm, sounds like fun stuff. Can I have some?


Sure, how much do you want ? I've got a few tons in the back shed



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 11:38 AM
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A more powerful version using a mixture of nitroso with nitro groups will result because complete oxidation to carbon dioxide actually slows down the velocity of detonation. Octanitrosocubane might be more powerful as well as more stable. Tetranitrosopyramid could be the most powerful, yet I don't know if the pyramid structure has ever been synthesized.



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