Ammonium perchlorate

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Ammonium perchlorate
Names
IUPAC name
Ammonium perchlorate
Other names
AP
Azanium perchlorate
Perchloric acid, ammonium salt
Properties
NH4ClO4
Molar mass 117.49 g/mol
Appearance White crystalline solid
Odor Odorless
Density 1.95 g/cm3
Melting point 130 °C (266 °F; 403 K) (decomposes)
Boiling point Decomposes, explodes
11.56 g/100 mL (0 °C)
20.85 g/100 mL (20 °C)
57.01 g/100 mL (100 °C)
Solubility Soluble in methanol
Partially soluble in acetone, ethanol, propanol
Insoluble in chloroform, dichloromethane, diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, hexane, toluene, xylene
Solubility in acetone 1.76 g/100 ml (25 °C)
Solubility in ethanol 1.5 g/100 ml (25 °C)
Solubility in ethyl acetate 0.029 g/100 g (25 °C)
Solubility in methanol 5.4 g/100 g (25 °C)
Solubility in propanol 0.31 g/100 g (25 °C)
Vapor pressure ~0 mmHg
Hazards
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
4,200 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Ammonium chloride
Ammonium chlorate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Ammonium perchlorate or AP is an inorganic compound with the formula NH4ClO4, a white solid which is a powerful oxidizer, widely used as rocket propellant.

Properties

Chemical

Ammonium perchlorate decomposes violently upon strong heating and may even explode under the right conditions.

4 NH4ClO4 → 2 N2 + 5 O2 + 6 H2O + 4 HCl

Physical

Ammonium perchlorate is a white crystalline solid soluble in water. It decomposes when heated and may even explode.

Explosive

Ammonium perchlorate can explode under extreme heating and shock. Mixtures with fuel, such as aluminium powder detonate much easier than pure AP, especially when a detonator is used. Other combustible materials, such as hydrocarbons are also good. The PEPCON disaster is a well know case of such unfortunate event.

Availability

Ammonium perchlorate can be found in some rocketry stores in US, however, starting since 2016 it can only be purchased with a permit.[1]

It cannot be purchased without a permit in EU.

Some types of "breakable" epoxy adhesives contain suspensions of AP. Extracting the AP from the adhesives however, may not be viable.

Preparation

Ammonium perchlorate can be made by reacting perchloric acid with ammonium bicarbonate.

HClO4 + NH4HCO3 → NH4ClO4 + H2O + CO2

Another more accessible route involves the double replacement reaction of sodium perchlorate with ammonium sulfate. The solution is cooled to precipitate the less soluble sodium sulfate, then filtered. The filtrate is concentrated and cooled to crystallize the AP.

2 NaClO4 + (NH4)2SO4 → NH4ClO4 + Na2SO4

Sodium perchlorate can be easily made from the electrolysis of NaCl/NaClO3.

Alternatively, barium perchlorate can also be used.

Projects

  • Rocket fuel
  • Flash powder
  • Oxygen generator

Handling

Safety

Ammonium perchlorate is harmful if ingested or inhaled.

AP is a strong oxidizer and may explode if heated in the presence of a fuel.

Storage

AP should be kept in plastic or glass bottles, away from any combustible and flammable materials.

Disposal

Ammonium perchlorate can be destroyed by mixing it with a fuel and carefully burn the mixture.

AP wastes can be safely destroyed with powdered metallic iron over several days. UV light and heat accelerate the process.[2] Heating perchlorates with elemental iron at 200 °C for an hour destroyed 98% of the perchlorate.[3]

References

  1. http://www.rocketmotorparts.com/
  2. Perchlorate in the Environment (2000), Edward Todd Urbansky, pag. 106
  3. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389405005364

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