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Author Topic: Fluorine-based chemical explosives  (Read 8309 times)

Offline Supercryptid

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Fluorine-based chemical explosives
« on: 27/02/2004 02:04:32 »
The chemical explosives that are used today (such as TNT, nitroglycerin, RDX, etc.) utilize oxygen atoms in their molecular structures to oxidize carbon and hydrogen atoms which are also present in their structure. The optimum result of this reaction is the following:

Explosive --> CO2 + N2 + H2O

Some explosives just produce CO2 and N2, while others don't completely oxidize themselves and produce CO instead of CO2. This is just an example though.

The molecules which are produced are highly stable, which causes a highly exothermic release of energy during the course of the reaction. The molecules are also in the form a gas. The heat causes the gas to expand rapidly, which produces an explosion.

The question is: can fluorine atoms be used to oxidized explosives instead of oxygen atoms?

Fluorine is commonly called 'the strongest known oxidizer', so it will oxidize materials even more exothermically than oxygen does. The nitro group (-NO2) is present in explosives and can fully oxidize a carbon atom. What if we replaced these nitro groups with difluoroamino groups (-NF2)? The resulting optimum explosive would detonate like this:

Explosive --> CF4 + N2 + HF

These molecules are also highly stable and gaseous, which would cause any such explosive to be very powerful. Although twice as many NF2 groups would be needed to fully oxidize a carbon atom in the explosive, the resulting CF4 is more stable than CO2, which should give more energy than a CO2 generating explosive.

A possible fluorine-based explosive would be didifluoroaminofluoromethane (CHN2F5). Another might be tridifluoroaminomethylamine (CH2N4F6). Although I doubt explosives like this have been synthesized, might they be possible? Would they be stable enough to be practical?

The HF produced in the explosion might be harmful to the environment though, producing acid rain.


 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Fluorine-based chemical explosives
« Reply #1 on: 27/02/2004 07:32:30 »
These have been used as explosives for quite a while, especially militarily.  

They are not as common as nitro group explosives for several reasons, the most prevalent being difficulty of synthesis, environmental hazard to both personnel (and civilians if military use) near blast areas, stability, and cost.  



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Offline Supercryptid

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Re: Fluorine-based chemical explosives
« Reply #2 on: 01/03/2004 04:57:47 »
Really? Do you know the names of any of these explosives? I'm really interested in this, and if you have a link to a website about it I would appreciate it.
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Fluorine-based chemical explosives
« Reply #3 on: 01/03/2004 22:43:30 »
Man, I'll be damned if I can find it now.  I ran across a website that contained all the explosives used by the military (that aren't classified)  

There were at least two fluoramino compounds...the names were huge though.  When I have proper interenet access (i just moved, my access is limited to school labs, which suck badly) I'll try and find it again.  Remind me in 2 weeks.  =P  



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Re: Fluorine-based chemical explosives
« Reply #3 on: 01/03/2004 22:43:30 »

 

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