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Author: Subject: Cheapest, best, most available ammonium nitrate sensitizers?
Weeblordd
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[*] posted on 29-1-2024 at 13:06
Cheapest, best, most available ammonium nitrate sensitizers?


What are some of the best cheapest, most easily available sensitizers worth adding to ammonium nitrate?

And also:
I want to detonate 2000g ammonal (95:5 an:al) and 500g ANSU (85:15 an:su) below the ammonal, this would be my first time detonating high explosives, is 5-15g melt-cast ETN enough to detonate ammonal? Stole the idea from this video
The idea is that I'd take a 20ml syringe, melt ETN inside of it at 65-80c, let it cool, then on a paper towel place some ETN, perhaps 0.5-1.0g, wrap it up somewhat tightly, add a fuse to it and secure it well with duct tape, and I'd add this paper toweled ETN on top of the melt-cast ETN, and this detonator would be inside the main charge of ammonal + ANSU. What are the chances for a complete detonation? high?

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[*] posted on 29-1-2024 at 15:36


The use of PETN-based boosters to initiate Ammonal is fairly common so you could probably find info on it easily in a blasting handbook. Though, a 5.56 round is generally much safer than playing around with detonators and boosters, especially if you already have ammonal.

The cheapest sensitizer is likely NM or glass microballoons (though these don’t sensitize that much).

Also, if this is your first time setting off HE, you probably shouldn’t be setting off a 2.5kg charge. 5g of any HE is enough to kill you in the right setting, if you aren’t careful.

Try to detonate 1g ETN from 15ft away - it should humble you a little bit.

And
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[*] posted on 29-1-2024 at 16:16


Your makeshift “detonator” will very likely not work. Worst case scenario, it lights on fire and your entire charge smolders away. ETN can be detonated by heat, but it must be tightly confined in aluminum foil and heated for an extended period of time. Also, I agree with dettoo456; this charge is 1000x too large for your first.



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[*] posted on 29-1-2024 at 16:18


Actually, worst case scenario is it smoldering until you go over and check on it, THEN exploding.



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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 08:40


Cheapest and most available senzitizer (and fuel ) for AN is resin from pine 15%. Soluble in ethanol.
Best senzitizer is (and fuel) hexamine 8,7%. This mixture called as ammotropine. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTBCP4COtkU
By video, Ammotropine is more powerful and cheaper than AN-AL. Ammotropine is sensitive on 300mg ETN. From 300mg ETN is possible use any size of main charge at density 1,0 - 1.25g/cm3. Wihout next booster.
Any bigger booster over 1g is waste of expensive ETN or else molecular EM....:cool:




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DennyDevHE77
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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 09:38


I'd like to add about the ammotropin. Its optimum density is 1.24 g/mL. At this density, the detonation velocity is 5700 m/s. In a 1.5-inch-diameter steel tube. Note that it is easily pressed to this density, even by hand (at least hot for sure), so it can be easily re-pressed higher. At 1.44 the detonation velocity is already 4090 m/s. Well, cast it almost does not detonate at all.

Above we talked about the composition (90/9/1 ammonium nitrate/urotropin/rosin).

Rosin is needed to form a fine crystalline structure more capable of detonation. But in general it is not necessary, especially in charges of several kilograms and from a powerful detonator.

When preparing, after solidification, but while the ammotropine is still hot, I advise you to pass it through a meat grinder, or smash it with a hammer, and then in a mortar/grinder. But if it solidifies completely, it will become very hard.
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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 10:33


The detonator is easily the most crucial part to get right in terms of safety. Premature detonation from a fuse jump or delayed detonation from a smoldering fuse are things to be very careful about, especially with big main charges.

Counting on ETN undergoing DDT with a simple fuse is rudimentary and unreliable to say the least. I wouldn't even bother trying your cap design. Flash powder works reliably as a primary for pressed ETN in large enough amounts in a strong enough cap body such as a .223 casing.
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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 10:37


Quote: Originally posted by Laboratory of Liptakov  
This mixture called as ammotropine. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTBCP4COtkU
By video, Ammotropine is more powerful and cheaper than AN-AL.

Ammotropin is compared to a very weak ammonal ratio in this video. This comparison is incorrect.

Quote: Originally posted by DennyDevHE77  
I'd like to add about the ammotropin. Its optimum density is 1.24 g/mL. At this density, the detonation velocity is 5700 m/s. In a 1.5-inch-diameter steel tube. Note that it is easily pressed to this density, even by hand (at least hot for sure), so it can be easily re-pressed higher. At 1.44 the detonation velocity is already 4090 m/s. Well, cast it almost does not detonate at all.

The optimal density depends on the size and shell of charge. For a 1.5 inch steel pipe it is like this. For another pipe or shellless charge it is different.

5-8% micronized aluminum is a good sensitizer. But bad fuel.
Urotropin is a good fuel, but a bad sensitizer.
Ethylendiamine nitrate is a good fuel and good sensitizer.
You can use EGDN, PETN, ETN, acetone peroxide as a sensitizer.

[Edited on 30-1-2024 by Etanol]
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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 11:25


Please do not use acetone peroxide for a sensitizer. I’ve gotten ETN to fairly reliably detonate from 3 micron aluminum powder/copper oxide thermite. It needs strong confinement, though. I’ve achieved a 100% success rate using a 1ųF microwave oven capacitor charged to 4kv discharged through a very thin wire.



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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 13:21


https://youtu.be/UfXbgBGDmiQ?si=mbGhZH0-lTGxIy_n
^^^^^
*my reliable ETN detonator.(heatshock)*
For the record you should really be concentrating more on making a reliable detonator design before doing any kind of experiment with secondaries,especially at these scales.
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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 14:20


Just don’t use that detonator with a flammable main charge! I once had a nitroglycerin dynamite charge fail to detonate and slowly smolder away. The few minutes while it burned were very tense.



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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 20:47


Quote: Originally posted by Etanol  
You can use EGDN, PETN, ETN, acetone peroxide as a sensitizer.


I encourage it. PETN and ETH are very strong sensitizers. I immediately think of the so-called rock ammonite, it contains 24% phlegmatized wax hexogen. And the critical diameter of such ammonite without shell at 1.4 is only 5.7 mm. As is known, the detonator primer number 8 reliably detonates those substances whose critical diameter does not exceed 10 mm in pressed form. So such an ammonite is easily detonated by primary primers.

PETN or ETH, besides not covered with wax, should be even stronger sensitizers. Of course mixed explosives based on them will probably be more sensitive, but who cares about that at home.
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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 21:07


By the way, as I see it, here on the forum everyone is obsessed with safe detonators, either without primary explosives at all (like heat shock ETH or PETN), or using low-sensitivity primary explosives (the same BNCP). And as I understood, people are concerned with them not as an object of study (when you make primary explosives for the sake of making them), but as a practical material for initiation.

This is not clear to me. More precisely, I can understand it when they make detonator caps that should retain their properties for years, which are not dangerous to carry in your pocket. Although personally, in that case, I used mercury fulminate or lead azide. But most people keep the detonators and the charges themselves for a couple of days at most, until they blow them up in the nearest forest. In my humble opinion, purely practically, even HMTD is fine. Press it into a syringe with a wand, wrap it in rags, throw it in a bag and safety is there. Even a few grams can be pressed, the worst that can happen is stun (although it is probably foolish to use more than a gram of HMTD, if the same PETN is available, for example). In any case, it is much cheaper, faster and more convenient than messing around with complex low-sensitivity primary explosives complexes, or worrying about the unreliability of ETH/PETN explosion from thermal effects.

Again, though, all of my practices above are based on your hands being far away from the detonator. I've had people I know (almost all of them) press in their hands, in the steel legs of tripods, while smoking at the same time.

[Edited on 31-1-2024 by DennyDevHE77]
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[*] posted on 30-1-2024 at 23:38


Quote: Originally posted by Sir_Gawain  
The few minutes while it burned were very tense.


I can imagine lol, yes the main charge should be insensitive to heat,or the detonator should be "stuffed" inside a copper tube of a diameter of 10mm and wall thickness of 2mm to limit the heat transfer to the main charge.

I forgot to say that the ETN used in my detonators is also mixed with either 5%Mg or 5% Al for an even more reliable thermal shock detonator.

We are obsessed over safe and reliable detonators because we like our digits.

Primaries are more suceptible of detonating during manipulation compared to secondaries,thats why I experiment with new NPED's designs, so that hopefully one day, primary explosive(most of them toxic)can be completely fazed out of detonators.
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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 00:33


Research into safe detonators is researched because otherwise there would be nothing to research......:cool:



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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 04:43


Quote: Originally posted by Sir_Gawain  
Your makeshift “detonator” will very likely not work.


So 5-15g melt-cast ETN with 1g unpressed ETN wouldn't be enough to detonate 2kg ammonal? Seriously? And using this idea from @Energetics-testin, 1g ETN charge (with 5% Al) encased in a layer of aluminum foil, surrounded with a mixture of potassium nitrate and sugar (or slow flashpowder, such as 55% KNO3, 33% Al, 14% S, it's an optimized ratio according to indian scientists) which is also encased in aluminum foil, ultimately making a slow and hot burning fuse that is able to heatshock ETN - this would be enough to detonate the 2kg? really? Also what's better: to connect a 20g ETN booster to the detonator or to add 20-30g ETN to 2kgs of ammonal in hopes of sensitizing it? I hope I can change my ammonal ratio to 85:15 and still detonate it with the previously mentioned detonator setup

Someone said my charge is 1000x too large to be my first, but I've been studying explosives of all kinds slowly but steadily for the past 7years, and I've some experience with injuries with low explosives so I'm extremely careful thanks to that, don't worry, having said that, I need some practice with HEs, and yes ofcourse I'll practice detonating ETN numerous times before attempting the main charge. The idea of detonating 2.5kg in total is set in stone, sorry. I want to see the explosive potential of a HE for my first detonation of a secondary high explosive.

Also, I don't yet have access to PETN, and probably won't have because its synthesis all the way from pentaerythritol is quite expensive, and don't wanna risk buying it. Nitromethane is insanely expensive here 1L for 74€. Good to know about pine resin, urotropine, EDGN and PETN though, thank y'all for all the help so far
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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 05:27


5-15 g of ETH is more than enough to detonate most powdered, low-pressure ammonium nitrate explosives. And it makes no sense to add 30 g of ETH to 2 kg of mixture, it is only 1.5%. The share of secondary explosive for sensitization is usually at least 10%. And usually 15-20%.

And don't even listen to "first explosion". My first explosion in high school was 2.4 kg of sugar dynamon. Then 7 kilograms. I was a schoolboy then, inexperienced, I used detonators made of 15g of acetone peroxide (though I didn't even carry them in my hands then).

You can make pentaerythritol yourself, or buy it. In many countries, after all, bureaucracy, if a substance is not included in certain lists, it is considered legal. Usually the big problem is that often reagents can only be sold in large quantities. 25-50 kilograms each.
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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 06:19


Quote: Originally posted by Weeblordd  
Quote: Originally posted by Sir_Gawain  
Your makeshift “detonator” will very likely not work.


So 5-15g melt-cast ETN with 1g unpressed ETN wouldn't be enough to detonate 2kg ammonal? Seriously? And using this idea from @Energetics-testin, 1g ETN charge (with 5% Al) encased in a layer of aluminum foil, surrounded with a mixture of potassium nitrate and sugar (or slow flashpowder, such as 55% KNO3, 33% Al, 14% S, it's an optimized ratio according to indian scientists) which is also encased in aluminum foil, ultimately making a slow and hot burning fuse that is able to heatshock ETN - this would be enough to detonate the 2kg?

Someone said my charge is 1000x too large to be my first, but I've been studying explosives of all kinds slowly but steadily for the past 7years, and I've some experience with injuries with low explosives so I'm extremely careful thanks to that, don't worry, having said that, I need some practice with HEs, and yes ofcourse I'll practice detonating ETN numerous times before attempting the main charge. The idea of detonating 2.5kg in total is set in stone, sorry. I want to see the explosive potential of a HE for my first detonation of a secondary high explosive.

The detonator I was dubious of was the first one you described with only ETN and a fuse. Adding some sort of slow burning pyrotechnic composition to cook off ETN confined in aluminum foil seems fairly reliable. Also, I’ve found a 1 gram ETN detonator to reliably and powerfully set off 100g ammonal, when it’s powdered. Prilled ammonium nitrate/aluminum powder never fully detonated.

Testing your detonators and small ETN charges is very good. Using an untested detonator with a huge charge was what I was referring to as a bad idea.


As far as crappy detonators go, I should know a bit about that. My first detonator was a .22 shell filled with homemade black powder inside a tiny vial of nitroglycerin! I was like, thirteen. It did work though.




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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 07:28


Powdered ammonal at an 85/15 ratio makes for a relatively powerful and easy to detonate booster material in the first place. It makes no sense to use a 10+ gram ETN booster when a simple 0.5 gram cap of pressed ETN is sufficient to detonate a 50 gram ammonal booster which in turn is capable of detonating any main charge.

So long as you keep everything dry, an oxygen balanced mix of powdered AN and powdered sugar with the addition of a few percent aluminum is by all means sensitive enough to be detonated with a small booster.

You seem determined to use thermal shock to detonate your ETN. In order to get that working reliably you want a rapid application of heat such as flash or black powder and strong confinement, not a slow heating confined in aluminum foil which is liable to give deflagration or partial detonation.

You could simply take a rifle casing, add a bit of flash or black powder to the bottom then add your ETN on top with an insulated fuse running all the way to the bottom as to not prematurely ignite the ETN.
This will work very reliably so long as everything is pressed in well enough to prevent the layers from mixing.
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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 11:11


Quote: Originally posted by DennyDevHE77  
And don't even listen to "first explosion".


Why not? You mean to cover my ears? Idk about that, I'd prefer not to (I wanna experience it in all its brilliance)

Quote: Originally posted by DennyDevHE77  
And don't even listen to "first explosion".
You can make pentaerythritol yourself, or buy it. In many countries, after all, bureaucracy, if a substance is not included in certain lists, it is considered legal. Usually the big problem is that often reagents can only be sold in large quantities. 25-50 kilograms each.


True, you can synth pentaerythritol but its quite a bit more expensive than synthing ETN, while PETN doesn't have much more power than ETN. I'd be more interested in synthesizing ANQN short for "1-Amino-3-nitroguanidine Nitrate" det velocity 9500m/s
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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 11:12


Quote: Originally posted by Weeblordd  


Someone said my charge is 1000x too large to be my first, but I've been studying explosives of all kinds slowly but steadily for the past 7years, and I've some experience with injuries with low explosives so I'm extremely careful thanks to that, don't worry, having said that, I need some practice with HEs, and yes ofcourse I'll practice detonating ETN numerous times before attempting the main charge. The idea of detonating 2.5kg in total is set in stone, sorry. I want to see the explosive potential of a HE for my first detonation of a secondary high explosive.



Don't underestimate how far you need to be from a charge of this size, particularly if you are having it do work. When you 'practice detonating ETN numerous times' do it using the exact same method you intend for the main charge, including giving yourself time (with plenty to spare) to get to a safe distance for your 2.5 kg charge.
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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 11:43


2.5 kg of high explosive can send a rock through your skull from an impressive distance. Also, using a fuse with a charge this size is generally a bad idea.



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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 11:46


Glad to hear, also, by chance the bigger main charge - the bigger the booster is needed? if 1g ETN can detonate 100g ammonal. Perhaps you'd need 5g ETN to detonate 1000g? If yes, does it increase linearly or non-linearly?

Quote: Originally posted by OneEyedPyro  

So long as you keep everything dry, an oxygen balanced mix of powdered AN and powdered sugar with the addition of a few percent aluminum is by all means sensitive enough to be detonated with a small booster.


Good to know, can you direct me to some really good instructions on explosive engineering and design? I wanna check if my current instructions are right. But according to my calculations, for ANSU (24NH4NO3 + 2C6H12O6 = + 120H2O + 12CO2 + 6N2 + 12NO2 + 12NO + 6N2O) the an:su with the highest detonation power would be 73.7% ammonium nitrate and 26.3% sugar. Is that correct? Does this mean its oxygen balanced? Sorry I started learning this stuff a couple days ago

Quote: Originally posted by OneEyedPyro  

You seem determined to use thermal shock to detonate your ETN. In order to get that working reliably you want a rapid application of heat such as flash or black powder and strong confinement, not a slow heating confined in aluminum foil which is liable to give deflagration or partial detonation.


I see, well in that case I'll use either BP or FP and confine it in a paper tube made of regular paper and PVA glue, then hot glue both ends, hopefully this works reliably to detonate ETN, thanks for the idea, it probably won't take many attempts to find the answer to this

Quote: Originally posted by OneEyedPyro  

You could simply take a rifle casing, add a bit of flash or black powder to the bottom then add your ETN on top with an insulated fuse running all the way to the bottom as to not prematurely ignite the ETN.
This will work very reliably so long as everything is pressed in well enough to prevent the layers from mixing.


Sadly I live in Europe where guns and rifle casings are highly difficut to get, but thanks for this idea as well, I can apply it to my paper tube idea, can use a stronger tube as well

Also, what method do you use to cheaply test the reliability of a detonator with a small main charge? One idea that I can think of is: make a tower/column of ammonal or ansu and add the detonator in the top of the tower, detonate it and see if the secondary high explosive is gone without a trace?- if there are traces, it didn't detonate or didn't fully detonate, and if no traces then I guess full detonation

Quote: Originally posted by B(a)P  

Don't underestimate how far you need to be from a charge of this size, particularly if you are having it do work. When you 'practice detonating ETN numerous times' do it using the exact same method you intend for the main charge, including giving yourself time (with plenty to spare) to get to a safe distance for your 2.5 kg charge.


Well yes but, I'd prefer a distance of 100-200meters (I will make sure there are zero fragments, will detonate in the air 1-2m away from the ground), hope that distance is enough and won't damage my hearing, will do it in the middle of a forest


[Edited on 31-1-2024 by Weeblordd]
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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 11:53


Set up some cardboard cutouts at various distances from the charge (1m, 2m, 3m, etc.) to see the blast radius. :D



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[*] posted on 31-1-2024 at 12:40


Quote: Originally posted by Weeblordd  

Good to know, can you direct me to some really good instructions on explosive engineering and design? I wanna check if my current instructions are right. But according to my calculations, for ANSU (24NH4NO3 + 2C6H12O6 = + 120H2O + 12CO2 + 6N2 + 12NO2 + 12NO + 6N2O) the an:su with the highest detonation power would be 73.7% ammonium nitrate and 26.3% sugar. Is that correct? Does this mean it’s oxygen balanced? Sorry I started learning this stuff a couple days ago.


Yes, your math is correct, but the formula for sucrose is C12H22O11. The correct equation is: 24NH4NO3+ C12H22O11 = 59H2O+12CO2+24N2. AN molar mass is 80, sucrose molar mass is 342.3 so the composition by weight is 84.9% AN and 15.1% sucrose.




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