Sciencemadness Discussion Board


bb911gt4 - 16-1-2014 at 17:07

Have you guys ever heard of the explosive CTC-Al? Anyone try it? Can anyone provide some info on this? I've posted a hyperlink to where I learned about it.

Scientwisted - 16-1-2014 at 17:28

That sounds super sketchy. I do not think that would be wise to make or attempt to set off.
First you have Al which is a moderatly reactive metal which looks good so far, but then you have Carbon Tetrachloride from what I understand is not a very reactive molecule. Just a carbon with halogens. I cannot imagine what the decomposition reaction or redox reaction
(what ever the case may be) would look like. Further more I don't think much energy could be stored in the chemical bonds if any could be made. And I doubt it would form a solid material with gasious products. I really don't think that's real but if it is that would be very interesting. I'm curious what other ideas on this mystery mix there are.

Zyklon-A - 16-1-2014 at 17:31

With so little information given, it seems unlikely that it will work at all...
CCl4 is an inert liquid at STP, how could it react with Al at all?

[Edited on 17-1-2014 by Zyklonb]

The_Davster - 16-1-2014 at 22:22

Na and CCl4 is explosive

MeOH and Mg can be detonated.

Al/CCl4 very likely works, however have not went into the lit to check.

woelen - 17-1-2014 at 00:47

CCl4, combined with reactive metal powders indeed is a dangerous thing. I know of people who wetted ultrafine zinc dust with CCl4 and used that mix as a very dirty and toxic smoke generator. Al-powder is more reactive, so I can imagine that the mix may burn very violently. Whether it is capable of exploding, or not, I do not know, but violent combustion certainly is imaginable.

Dany - 17-1-2014 at 02:14

yes, mixture of CCl4 and aluminium is explosive. here's a reference:

Lindeijer E. W, Explosion of carbon tetrachloride and aluminum powder, Chemisch Weekblad, 46, 571, 1950.

mixture of CCl4-Al-ZnO has been also investigated:

M. Syczewski, Explosive properties of the compositions CCl4 + Al + ZnO, Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics, 19, 87-89, 1994. (see attched file)


Attachment: CCl4+Al+ZnO.pdf (280kB)
This file has been downloaded 836 times

Zyklon-A - 17-1-2014 at 06:52

That's funny, considering the fact that CCl4 was once used in fire extinguishers, then again, not very many fire extinguishers can put out a chemical fire.

Bert - 17-1-2014 at 07:02

One of many possibilities using a halogen instead of Oxygen. Most of these are more similar to laboratory hazard than commercial or military explosives- Such things as pool chlorinators and brake fluid or the Mg/Zn and CCl4 mentioned above have burned a lot of peoples fingers and sometimes worse.

There is a lab demo mentioned in Tenney Davis' COPAE using a small glass ampoule of Sodium or Potassium metal inside a larger ampoule of chloroform, the assembly is dropped from a sufficient height to break both glass containers and an explosion occurs.

markx - 17-1-2014 at 09:57 electrochemistry professor told about how they once dropped a good sized chunk of metallic sodium into a bowl with chromic acid from the fifth storey window of of their dorm room :P
The boom was massive :D

APO - 17-1-2014 at 13:07

Any references of Methanol and Magnesium being detonation capable?

Fantasma4500 - 20-1-2014 at 08:37

indeed, ive heard about carbon tetrachloride several times and recall having read something explaining how.. it was one of those things you randomly come by, although another member already gave reference.. it is something happening when a strong shockwave is forced through it, not the average explosive, it was said that the CCl4 should have an fine suspension of aluminium

however the problem might be that ...
you need chloroform to make CCl4, and NaClO and acetone to make chloroform, if you can produce this in bulk and get decent purity end product this might be interesting, although KClO3 and kerosine or vaseline works well, not to mention NaClO3.. even Ca(ClO)2 has been shown to work with oil
sooo.. if you cant find a bulk source i dont see much 'use' in it unless if its just for the exoticness of it, perhaps abit 'like in the good old days' feeling? haha

papaya - 20-1-2014 at 10:46

The thing is interesting from theoretical point, since if CCl4-Al works, then other chlorinated hydrocarbons may also, including polymers (like PVC, though it is too low in chlorine). I remember reading somewhere on teflon powder/Al composition, the topic is interesting anyway.

Fantasma4500 - 21-1-2014 at 11:15

i actually experimented with PTFE and MgAl if it wasnt Mg
it was a weak flash but it had potential, the PTFE was made with P120 sandpaper and 1:1 seemed to be a fitting ratio per volume
PTFE source was PTFE hose from china

anyhow lets not forget Ca(ClO)2... assuming without having it looked up it could be made somehow without too much trouble

franklyn - 24-1-2014 at 09:23

I had posted this in references back in 2007
Attachment: On the Explosive Nature of Mixtures of Magnesium or Aluminum with Water or Methanol.pdf (840kB)
This file has been downloaded 769 times
by L. Medard - ( original from French Journal ) Memorial des Poudres , vol. 33 , 1951
page numbers 490 - 503
English Translation :
( British government ) Health & Safety Executive - translation number 1 1 2 7 0
( not published , but available if requested )
The British Library - Shelfmark : 5 6 7 2 .5 8 0 0 0 0

Quoted from Bretherick's Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards :
The reaction of Magnesium and Methanol to form Magnesium methoxide and used to
prepare dry Methanol is very vigorous, but often subject to a lengthy induction period.
Sufficient Methanol must be present to absorb the violent exotherm which sometimes

Aluminum reduces Zinc oxide with quiet combustion and a blue white luminous flame.
Calcium, and Barium chlorides , when melted , yield their metal on the introduction of
Aluminium powder.
Hexachloroethane is solid but sublimes at 186 C° with 777 Torr vapor pressure. It
decomposes on heating at 300 C° producing Perchloroethylene and Chlorine. It is burned
with Zinc dust in the white smoke composition used in military smoke grenades. Inclusion
of Iodine with Hexachloroethane will auto-ignite when brought into contact with Aluminum
or Magnesium.

Quoted from Bretherick's Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards :
Mixtures of powdered metal with Carbon Tetrachloride or Trichloroethylene will flash on
heavy impact. Violent decomposition with evolution of Hydrogen Chloride can occur when
1,1,1-Trichloroethane comes into contact with Magnesium or its alloys with Aluminium.

Attachment: Aluminum + 1,1,1-Trichloroethane.pdf (145kB)
This file has been downloaded 903 times

Fast Reactions of Aluminum - A Literature Review

Explosibility of Metal Powders


My take _
Adding an oxidizer to the mix such as Hydrogen Peroxide solution along
with perhaps dissolved Ammonium Nitrate would make a more credible
bang. Liquid oxygen and Aluminum has seen use as an explosive. Liquid
Chlorine could serve as well.

Having an interest in unusual energetic formulations , organic halogen
compounds , with Chlorine in particular , notably with metals such as
Aluminum or Magnesium , is such a topic. We know that addition of
Iodine immediately catalyzes violent reaction. Carbon Tetrachloride can
solvate Nitrogen Trichloride so that it is relatively safely handled , and
can thus serve to sensitize an admixture with metal dust in suspension.
Another obscure means would be the addition of perhaps 5 percent of
Ethylene Diamine with for example Methylene Chloride and Magnesium.
( This is how Nitromethane is sensitized as PLX ) I do not understand the
reaction pathway for this , other than it is sourced from a reliable reference ,
see the bottom chart here _

In this case Carbon Terachloride serves to sensitize a prosaic
blend of nitrate and Aluminum.

[Edited on 25-1-2014 by franklyn]

APO - 24-1-2014 at 13:24