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Author: Subject: about the name Negative X?
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[*] posted on 27-4-2011 at 05:36
about the name Negative X?

i finally found how the reaction works out but does anyone know why the water sensitive mixture its called negative x

1. Cl- (from NH4CL) acts as a catalyst on the decomposition of NH4NO3:

NH4NO3--------(Cl-)---------> N2O(g) + 2 (H2O)(aq)

i think you just need a salt with the chloride ion normally its ammonium chloride but Ive seen people use sodium chloride

2. Water in the reaction causes the decomposition of more NH4NO3, which is an auto-catalytic effect.

3. The reaction melts the NH4NO3 and allows the oxidation of the zinc. The overall reaction is:

Zn (s) + NH4NO3 (s)------> N2 (g) + ZnO (s) + 2 (H2O) (g)


[Edited on 27-4-2011 by symboom]
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[*] posted on 27-4-2011 at 12:03

The first two parts are no where near how it works.

From the best I can gather, it is a corrosive attack on the zinc, coupled with reduction of the nitrate ion to ammonia (which is self-propagating), with the zinc and nitrate finally igniting and burning as one may expect. I believe a similar thing can be done with KNO3, Zinc, and NaOH or NaOH soln instead of water.
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