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Questions tagged [explosives]

Questions discussing explosive nature of chemicals. Also, consider using the safety tag.

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34
votes
4answers
8k views

What exactly is happening when sodium, potassium, or other alkali metal explodes in water?

There are lots of videos on YouTube showing sodium, potassium, etc. exploding when dropped into water (this, for example). I understand that when an alkali metal is exposed to water, a violent ...
14
votes
4answers
27k views

How explosive is hydrogen gas?

I want to electrolyze water to get oxygen and hydrogen. I want to mix them in a regular balloon and ignite it. How much hydrogen would you need in a 2:1 ratio with air for it to be dangerous? Is this ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

What makes substances explosive

Can someone explain clearly to me why some things are explosive?
13
votes
2answers
426 views

Mechanism of initiation in contact explosives?

It's well known that undiluted nitroglycerin will explode when subjected to a physical shock. What is happening as a result of the physical shock that sets off the explosive reaction? In particular, ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Why are peroxides explosive?

Why do peroxides tend to explode with little provocation? In general, what are typical products of their explosion?
5
votes
2answers
624 views

Contact explosion of nitrogen triiodide

Nitrogen triiodide, on slightest physical contact, explodes to evolve dense purple fumes of iodine. Why does this phenomenon occur? video link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KlAf936E90
3
votes
1answer
799 views

Is Tollen's test safe?

Tollen's test is an important test to distinguish between aldehyde and ketone. $$\ce{2 [Ag(NH3)2]+ + RCHO + H2O → 2 Ag(s) + 4 NH3 + RCO2H + 2 H+}$$ But is this reaction safe? Is there any threat in ...
14
votes
3answers
9k views

Why exactly does molten NaCl explode, when it is poured into water?

Why does molten $\ce{NaCl}$ explode, when it is poured into water? $\ce{NaCl}$ has a high melting point, $1074\ \mathrm{K}$ ($801~\mathrm{^\circ C}$). $\ce{NaCl}$ has a molar mass of $58.44\ \mathrm{...
15
votes
3answers
782 views

What really happens atomically in an explosion?

Let's say a room is filled with butane, I then throw a cigarette into the room. What happens to the atoms/molecules of the butane when they are in contact with the heat from the cigarette?
19
votes
1answer
243 views

What did actually happen when Staudinger tried to synthesise diamond?

It is a famous reaction that used to be a teaching lab experiment, but is now banned in Germany, because it is too dangerous. To quote-translate quite liberally from the German www.seilnacht.com: ...
1
vote
2answers
365 views

mechanism of mechanically triggered explosion [duplicate]

There are several well known explosives which can be mechanically triggered. I am curious about the mechanism of such a reaction, though. I guess one can give an easy answer when the explosive is ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Can rocket candy explode during the preparation?

I would like to follow the steps in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyPysthIRss After I mixed the Potassium nitrate KNO3 and the ...
2
votes
1answer
796 views

Perchlorate salts: (explosive) reactivity with methane?

I read everywhere about the explosive reactivity of perchlorate salts (e.g., $\ce{Na}$, $\ce{Ca}$, $\ce{NH4}$ [especially]) when mixed with organic materials or solvents, yet I find no information ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why can sulfur act like a catalyst?

In the reaction of combustion of gunpowder, Sulfur is used to speed up the reaction and acts like a catalyst in that it increases the rate of reaction. However, unlike a catalyst, it is used up in ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

What causes KNO3 to decompose into KNO2 and Oxygen in gunpowder?

I've been studying fireworks and from what I understand: $\ce{KNO3}$ decomposes to form $\ce{KNO2}$ and $\ce{O2}$ gas, and this free oxygen reacts with carbon to react with carbon and sulfur to form ...