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Author: Subject: Ammonium nitrate solubility in different fuels.
OneEyedPyro
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[*] posted on 9-5-2023 at 10:33
Ammonium nitrate solubility in different fuels.


I recently was messing around with AN and methanol, when heated at a 90/10 ratio I was left with a dense slurry that hardened upon cooling and didn't seem to separate. I was quite surprised by the brisance for being an AN mix and it's also cap sensitive.

Does anyone know of other liquid fuels that AN is appreciably soluble in? I can't find much info on AN solubility besides with water.
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[*] posted on 9-5-2023 at 11:04


Very interested in this
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[*] posted on 9-5-2023 at 11:05


That's interesting, I remember posting here about AN/MSM co-melt that is also cap sensitive (after crushing to powder), but I also tried co-melt AN/ plain liquid DMSO and it hardened to a cake - no liquid dripping out that is. Not Really tested for energetic properties unfortunately, since I thought dmso is quite hygroscopic by itself, but who knows, at least its not volatile like methanol. Btw, how did you test it? Crushed into powder or just bulk solid ? You may test things like ethylene glycol, Glycerol and other non volatile polyols, I've tested AN/erythritol co-melt as powder and it is decent.
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[*] posted on 9-5-2023 at 16:24


Quote: Originally posted by papaya  
That's interesting, I remember posting here about AN/MSM co-melt that is also cap sensitive (after crushing to powder), but I also tried co-melt AN/ plain liquid DMSO and it hardened to a cake - no liquid dripping out that is. Not Really tested for energetic properties unfortunately, since I thought dmso is quite hygroscopic by itself, but who knows, at least its not volatile like methanol. Btw, how did you test it? Crushed into powder or just bulk solid ? You may test things like ethylene glycol, Glycerol and other non volatile polyols, I've tested AN/erythritol co-melt as powder and it is decent.


It was dry, prilled AN slowly added to methanol in a hot water bath, I gently stirred it and kept the methanol as close to boiling as I could during addition.
I placed 100 grams in the corner of a Ziploc bag on a fairly sturdy piece of steel sheet metal folded over on itself, so about 3.5mm thick overall if I had to guess, it put a 4.5 inch wide hole in the steel and punched several inches into the soil below it.
Many of the fragments I recovered from the hole were surprisingly small and the two layers had been fused together. For reference ~250 grams of prilled AN/Al 95/5 only slightly warped that same target.

I'm not too concerned about volatility or hygroscopicity, just solubility.

[Edited on 10-5-2023 by OneEyedPyro]
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smile.gif posted on 10-5-2023 at 02:28


So 90% AN was soluble in 10% methanol, that's interesting, maybe some kind of melting point depression phenomenon versus dissolution? Still not clear if solid chunck of it "melt cast" is capable of working. Thanks for sharing anyway, next logical fuel must be glycol, since it is no more than double methanol:D
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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 03:16


Most likely methyl nitrate is produced or some other high explosive nitrates like methyl ammonium nitrate.
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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 03:38


Quote: Originally posted by papaya  
So 90% AN was soluble in 10% methanol, that's interesting, maybe some kind of melting point depression phenomenon versus dissolution? Still not clear if solid chunck of it "melt cast" is capable of working. Thanks for sharing anyway, next logical fuel must be glycol, since it is no more than double methanol:D


It wasn't close to being fully dissolved, more of a thick and dense slurry. The AN prills that didn't dissolve broke down into fine crystals and the mixture took on a paste like consistency similar to pancake batter.
What do you mean by no more than double?


underground
I don't think that's the case but of all the simple and cheap mixtures I've tried this one is definitely the most powerful I've tried, I'd say almost close to ANNM territory at a fraction of the cost.
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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 03:46


If you look at structural formula of ethylene glycol you can imagine it is two methanos stuck together via c-c bond, but this only is graphical thing, actual properties might not follow it that well, nevertheless worth trying.
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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 06:30


So one more time. After cooling, the 100g mixture had the consistency of one solid piece? No crushed agglomerates? Protected by a Ziplock bag? Consistency like a cast? And brizance was similar to ANNM? During boiling, methyl nitrate or ammonium methyl nitrate is almost certainly formed as Undergroud wrote. Or something else that significantly promotes sensitivity. Or something else that becomes the main explosive instead of AN. If so, this is a major advance in the field of cast energy materials. In this case, the boiling time, the boiling temperature and the final exact ratio between AN and methanol will be decisive. Due to the large evaporation during boiling. Very cheap, very powerful and therefore very interesting.



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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 08:13


Quote: Originally posted by Laboratory of Liptakov  
So one more time. After cooling, the 100g mixture had the consistency of one solid piece? No crushed agglomerates? Protected by a Ziplock bag? Consistency like a cast? And brizance was similar to ANNM? During boiling, methyl nitrate or ammonium methyl nitrate is almost certainly formed as Undergroud wrote. Or something else that significantly promotes sensitivity. Or something else that becomes the main explosive instead of AN. If so, this is a major advance in the field of cast energy materials. In this case, the boiling time, the boiling temperature and the final exact ratio between AN and methanol will be decisive. Due to the large evaporation during boiling. Very cheap, very powerful and therefore very interesting.


Yes. I slowly added 90 grams of well dried AN prills to a simmering ~13-15ml of methanol while gently stirring with a rod. This resulted in a dense but slightly mobile paste which hardened into a solid cake upon cooling with a slight but negligible amount of liquid separating from the solid. I detonated it with about 1.5g of machine pressed PETN and a bit of SADS in a thin walled steel tube.

I wouldn't say it's on par with ANNM but still very impressive for how simple it is to make and easily stronger any simple AN and fuel mixture I've tried.

It wasn't something I thought anything of at the time so I didn't bother recording exact times, final weight or density.
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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 09:26


Thanks, Eyed Pyro.....
1.5g PETN is small booster, but for cast AN/xy fuel is it incredible small booster. Usually is necessary much bigger (10g) booster for this type cast materials. And at least 300g main charge. Very interest results. Maybe is time for repeat this attempt. For confirmation results. One attempt, nothing attempt. 2 attempts, half of truth. 3 attempts whole truth. Kitchen procedure sounds incredible easy.




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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 09:35


Quote: Originally posted by OneEyedPyro  

Does anyone know of other liquid fuels that AN is appreciably soluble in? I can't find much info on AN solubility besides with water.

In military pyrothecnics manual that I found here, there's some info about solubilities at 20C:
ethanol: 3.8 g/100 g
methanol: 17.1 g/100 g
There's also a lot of data in AN's entry on chemister. (not a lot about alcohols, mostly water and acetic acid:()

[Edited on 10-5-2023 by EF2000]
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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 12:59


Quote: Originally posted by Laboratory of Liptakov  
Thanks, Eyed Pyro.....
1.5g PETN is small booster, but for cast AN/xy fuel is it incredible small booster. Usually is necessary much bigger (10g) booster for this type cast materials. And at least 300g main charge. Very interest results. Maybe is time for repeat this attempt. For confirmation results. One attempt, nothing attempt. 2 attempts, half of truth. 3 attempts whole truth. Kitchen procedure sounds incredible easy.


I was unable to replicate the slurry mixture with freshly dried AN and a new bottle of methanol even at an 88/12 ratio. My only guess is that the AN and or methanol contained a good bit of water. Sorry for the bad info.
It did somewhat begin to resemble what originally occurred with 12% methanol at a simmer under pressure.

I still stand by the rest. Whatever mixture I had was impressively powerful by AN/fuel standards and detonated with a fairly standard power cap.

[Edited on 10-5-2023 by OneEyedPyro]
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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 18:11


You had a little bit of water in it. It makes sense, that’s not a downside. Infact it makes more sense and I wondered it as well. It’s basically a slurry explosive. The water is needed for it to form the paste. Try again but add 5 percent water then try again with ten percent water. It’s also important you add 10 percent aluminum powder (as fine as possible) to the mix.

Thanks
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[*] posted on 10-5-2023 at 21:42


MineMan said all basic and important. I have not any different or better advice. For next way of research of this interest mixture.



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[*] posted on 11-5-2023 at 08:45


Quote: Originally posted by MineMan  
You had a little bit of water in it. It makes sense, that’s not a downside. Infact it makes more sense and I wondered it as well. It’s basically a slurry explosive. The water is needed for it to form the paste. Try again but add 5 percent water then try again with ten percent water. It’s also important you add 10 percent aluminum powder (as fine as possible) to the mix.

Thanks


With the addition of 6ml water to 16ml methanol and 90g AN I achieved a similar end result but with far more of a liquid solid separation rather than a smooth paste. It still hardened up nicely as before with virtually no separation once cooled. Now I just have to test it.
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[*] posted on 11-5-2023 at 10:09


Here is some solubility data on AN.. I've dissolved it in methanol before. I think I might try acetone b/c it supposedly has a vairly high solubility.

I also tried dissolving CAN (calcium AN) in methanol and it was a little difficult & I had to really watch the temp b/c it needed to stay in a fairly narrow range.

118.3 g/100 cc of H2O at 0 °C, 871 g at 100 °C; 3.8 g/100 cc ethanol at 20 °C; soluble in acetone; 17.1 g/100 cc methanol at 20 °C; soluble in ammonia; insoluble in ether

Lide, D.R. (ed). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 72nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1991-1992., p. 4-39
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[*] posted on 12-5-2023 at 05:01


Aceton doesnt disolve much ammoniumnitrate but Calciumnitrate.
https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD0673124.pdf
Solubility of nitrates in Aceton
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[*] posted on 12-5-2023 at 06:23


In the sense of the established thread, it would be good to focus on researching the mixture of ammonium nitrate - boiled with methanol. And verifying its unexpected brisance at high (cast) density.



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[*] posted on 13-5-2023 at 07:23


So i did 3 tests of this today.

First was 45g of garden(34N) AN prills and 5 grams of methanol in a tightly closed jar put on in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. It was shaken from time to time, no phase separation - turned into a semi-solid slush. Solidified into chunky bits.

Second test was the same but i added 2,5 mls of water and it turned into a mush and solidified into a few larger chunks.

Third was 18g somewhat dried pulverized AN + 2g of methanol and 3 drops of sulfuric acid. Remained powdery the whole time.

I used ~2,5g of meltcast ETN to initiate them, unfortunetly none of them went off.

[Edited on 13-5-2023 by karolus28]




Hi, please read about exif data.
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[*] posted on 13-5-2023 at 22:46


Thanks, Karolus for your testing.

It looks like the results from the beginning of this thread are difficult to replicate. Doing 3 tests and consuming 7.5g of ETN is a lot of work. Thanks for the interesting results....:cool:




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[*] posted on 14-5-2023 at 03:08


Quote: Originally posted by karolus28  
So i did 3 tests of this today.

First was 45g of garden(34N) AN prills and 5 grams of methanol in a tightly closed jar put on in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. It was shaken from time to time, no phase separation - turned into a semi-solid slush. Solidified into chunky bits.

Second test was the same but i added 2,5 mls of water and it turned into a mush and solidified into a few larger chunks.

Third was 18g somewhat dried pulverized AN + 2g of methanol and 3 drops of sulfuric acid. Remained powdery the whole time.

I used ~2,5g of meltcast ETN to initiate them, unfortunetly none of them went off.

[Edited on 13-5-2023 by karolus28]


I made around 100 grams of an unknown ratio of AN, methanol and water. It did detonate with impressive power. My detonator was a bit larger than average and was machine pressed PETN at a relatively high density.

I managed to replicate the solid cake aspect but sadly the main charge only scattered with no apparent detonation. Maybe it was a fluke when I got a full detonation.
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[*] posted on 14-5-2023 at 16:31


No such thing is a fluke
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[*] posted on 15-5-2023 at 01:27


I recommend extending the boiling time to 90 minutes in a closed jar. At 64 Celsius. In a water bath.
AN90 + MeOH 10 + 5 dH2O And try again with 2g HE. Don't underestimate the size of main charge. The charge should be a ball with a central initiation.




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[*] posted on 15-5-2023 at 20:18


Quote: Originally posted by OneEyedPyro  
Quote: Originally posted by karolus28  
So i did 3 tests of this today.

First was 45g of garden(34N) AN prills and 5 grams of methanol in a tightly closed jar put on in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. It was shaken from time to time, no phase separation - turned into a semi-solid slush. Solidified into chunky bits.

Second test was the same but i added 2,5 mls of water and it turned into a mush and solidified into a few larger chunks.

Third was 18g somewhat dried pulverized AN + 2g of methanol and 3 drops of sulfuric acid. Remained powdery the whole time.

I used ~2,5g of meltcast ETN to initiate them, unfortunetly none of them went off.

[Edited on 13-5-2023 by karolus28]


I made around 100 grams of an unknown ratio of AN, methanol and water. It did detonate with impressive power. My detonator was a bit larger than average and was machine pressed PETN at a relatively high density.

I managed to replicate the solid cake aspect but sadly the main charge only scattered with no apparent detonation. Maybe it was a fluke when I got a full detonation.


Please consider the source of the ammonium nitrate in attempts to recreate first incident- "garden (34N)?
Most AN sold as fertilizer in the West/Europe and much of the rest of the world has been phlegmatized by addition of such things as fly ash, Calcium carbonate and PVA "glue". This has been done specifically to PREVENT easy use in improvised explosives. Were the 2nd and later attempts made with the SAME BATCH OF AN the first (surprisingly brissant explosion) test was made with?




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