Explosives Preparation And Uses

Introduction to explosives preparation and uses:

A chemical compound mixture or material that suddenly causes a release of gas, pressure and heat, instantaneous reactions, function by explosion, accompanied by loud noise. It can be subjected to certain amount of pressure, temperature and shock. Explosive reactions can be exothermic. It should be used for constructive and destructive purposes. The product can be heated up to very high temperature and exert high pressure on the surroundings.  Let us learn about the preparation of explosives and its uses.

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Preparation of Explosives

There are many methods for the preparation of explosives.

Some of the examples of preparation of explosives:

Lead Azide Pb (N3)2:

Sodium amide can be formed by reacting ammonia with sodium, sodium azide can be treated with nitrous oxide. The preparation of  lead azide can be obtained by treating sodium azide with solution of lead acetate. Lead azide can be used for military explosives.

NaNH2 + N2O  `->`     NaN3 + H2O

2NaN3 + Pb (OAc)2  `->`   Pb(N3)2 + 2NaOAc

Mercury Fulminate Hg (ONC)2:

A solution of ethyl alcohol can be added with the dissolved mercury in excess of conc. HNO3. Then that mixture can be boiled, mercury fulminate gets precipitated. It is more sensitive than lead azide and it is slightly toxic nature, so it is used less.

Pb (N3)2   `|->`  Pb + 3N2 + 0.6 k cal

Hg (ONC) `|->`   Hg (g) + N2 + 2CO +117 k cal


Nitrobenzene is the main constituent of the commercial explosive known as indurate. It consists of 50% nitrobenzene and 40% gun cotton; it is called American smokeless powder. An American explosive consists of nitrobenzene 21% + KClO3 79%; preparation of nitrobenzene is used in rack-a-rack.


A cellulose nitrate and petroleum jelly in acetone is a mixture of GTN. It is mainly used for the purpose of smokeless powder consists of petroleum jelly serves as a cooling agent and stabilizer on the powder. For large naval guns, cordite is a good propellant in it.

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Uses of Explosives

  • Propellants with objects viewed at a smaller distance shattered with high brisance explosives and with low brisance explosives.
  • Mine, shells and bombs can be very high explosives but propellants can be very low explosives category.
  • Subsoil blasting:  explosives can be burst below few feet under the land, subsoil can be brought up to the land surface and the liberated gases SO2, CO, etc., kill the insects in a land.
  • A piece of metal can be attached to an explosive and it is used to shape the piece of metal for shaping the metal can be achieved by this method.
  • Due to exothermic burning of coal dust and methane, a long-lasting flame is required to cause dangerous explosions in it.

Industrial Side Uses of Explosives

Explosives are mainly used for the purpose of defence. For constructing tunnels in mountains, explosives are used for blasting mines for obtaining ores, drilling holes in the industrial side, excavating the earth such as dam, seismic prospecting, quarrying purposes.

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