Title

Characterization and analysis of tetranitrate esters

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2012

Abstract

Thermal behaviors, vapor pressures, densities, and drop weight impact results, as well as analytical protocols, are reported for three tetranitrate esters: erythritol tetranitrate (ETN), 1,4-dinitrato-2,3-dinitro-2, 3bis(nitratomethylene) butane (DNTN), and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN). ETN and DNTN both melt below 100°C and have ambient vapor pressures comparable to TNT. While LC/MS was shown to be a viable technique for analysis of all three tetranitrate esters, only ETN was successfully analyzed by GC/MS. Performance of these nitrate esters as evaluated in lab using the small-scale explosivity device (SSED) suggested RDXDNTN>PETN>ETN. Detonation velocities were calculated using Cheetah 6.0. Since the starting material is now widely available, it is likely that law enforcement will find ETN in future improvised explosive devices. This paper with its analytical schemes should prove useful in identification of this homemade explosive. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Publication Title

Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics

Volume

37

Issue

1

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