I was recently reading a book titled "Hitler's Suppressed and Still Secret Weapons, Science and Technology". I came across this book because I saw it referenced by someone on another site. The book's author claims that there is a variation of the typical fuel-air bomb (Where a cloud of explosive material is dispersed into the atmosphere and then detonated), whereby an explosive material is dispersed into the atmosphere, charged with electricity as much as possible, and then detonated. Supposedly, the explosion of this modified fuel-air bomb is more powerful than a conventional FA bomb. Alternatively, the explosive material is wrapped in an insulator and then charged. Now, I am very, very skeptical of this, especially since that book has been criticized as being into conspiracy theory territory. However, I am curious: If a material that acts as fuel were to be electrically charged (Like having a build up of static electricity) before reacting with oxygen, would it result in a greater release of energy than if it were not to be charged?

For instance, suppose that a cloud of coal dust happened to have a significant buildup of static electricity, and then it explodes. Would the explosion be more powerful than if the cloud did not have any static buildup?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Only if the amount of charge were significant compared to the chemical energy involved. And this is impossible as it would involve such huge voltages that the air would ionise well before a decent amount of charge were built up. $\endgroup$ – matt_black Mar 28 '19 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ related: why sodium explodes $\endgroup$ – A.K. Mar 28 '19 at 21:38

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