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Author: Subject: Gallium Fulminate?
Full Modern Alchemist

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[*] posted on 1-12-2020 at 22:38
Gallium Fulminate?

So I've been fooling around with fulminates lately and I have been investigating the idea of gallium fulminate. I don't expect this to be a spectacular energetic if it can exist at all, but I haven't heard anything about gallium based energetics in general and I thought the idea was interesting. I've been reading up on transition metal fulminates and it appears that the lead, mercury and silver are the only ones well documented to be prepared from ethanol, nitric acid and the nitrate salt of the metal. I tried this method with gallium nitrate with no success, all I got was a rapid reaction that produced a lot of nitrogen dioxide, what smelled like acetaldehyde and probably a bunch of carbon dioxide judging by the amount of gas released.

My question is this, does anyone have any idea how I might manage to make this stuff? The most intriguing idea I've seen so far was reacting copper powder with silver fulminate to make copper fulminate. I don't know enough about gallium chemistry to know if this would work in a similar way. Perhaps I could try reacting gallium metal with silver fulminate? Or perhaps I could try reacting another gallium salt with silver fulminate? Will chloride ions destroy the fulminate anion? I was also wondering if gallium chloride solution would react with silver fulminate to form silver chloride and gallium fulminate. It's probably not that simple though. I very much appreciate any input that anyone has on this.
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International Hazard

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[*] posted on 2-12-2020 at 01:53

I find this an interesting topic and please do post about your success or otherwise.
I don't mean to be patronising and apologies if it comes off that way. I am not sure how much practical experience you have with fulminates. Maybe you already know this, but it is probably worth noting. While all of the fulminates are sensitive primaries silver fulminate is more so than say mercury fulminate. Even in its wet state silver fulminate will easily detonate. Mercury fulminate might be a better candidate for your proposed reaction, because it plays slightly more nicely? Also what do you propose to dissolve the fulminate in to allow the reaction to occur?
I don't know, but I do wonder if some of the metal fulminates do not readily precipitate out of solution following the reaction, unlike what you see with silver and mercury. Did you try reducing the solution down following the reaction? This would need to be done very carefully of course.
I am assuming you have produced other fulminates before and so are aware of the required reaction conditions and associated cloud of NO2 and other gases? What you describe sounds to me like a successful fulminate reaction. The fulminates are a nasty toxic compound born out of a nasty toxic cloud of gas.
Your post reminded me that I have been meaning to try cadmium fulminate, I have some cadmium on hand so I will give it a go and let you know.
You may also be interested in this thread if you have not seen it before.

Edit - Some interesting information on the formation of other fulminates through amalgams, in the attached.

[Edited on 2-12-2020 by B(a)P]

Attachment: Fulminates and Azides DTIC.pdf (804kB)
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National Hazard

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[*] posted on 2-12-2020 at 03:17

Lead, mercury, silver and copper fulminate are relatively stable because they are soft/moderatly soft lewis acids. The gallium atom would both a too strong Brønsted acid and a too strong and hard Lewis acid because it is somewhat small atom with 3+ charge though less so than Aluminium meaning, either:
1. It does not exist.
2. It does and is most likely molecular in which case it will be very water sensitive in addition to extremely explosive and so impossible for you and most likely anyone to isolate.

I do not think the Gallium (II) or (I) fulminates could exist even with the softer and weaker Lewis acidic anions either because i believe both are very reducing.
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International Hazard

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[*] posted on 4-12-2020 at 14:52

Umm. Interesting idea.

Gallium being a fairly Noble Metal, might form explosive salts.

Hadn't thought of it. Could it possibly form a Tetraamine Nitrate? Dunno. I'd be careful.

Now, right away, I found a paper that suggests such complexes might be possible.

I the leave discussion to folks that are much more knowledgeable, about blowing stuff up.
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