Sunday, July 17, 2005

One Lump or Two?

Quick, what looks like sugar, is highly unstable, and undetectable using common equipment or tests, and can wreck havoc on a mass transit system?

Can't guess? Then brush up on your chemistry:
[...] TATP is one of the most sensitive explosives known [...]Unlike most conventional explosive devices, those made of 1 contain neither nitro groups nor metallic elements, making its detection by standard methods quite difficult. Furthermore, 1, which has a quite unsuspicious appearance, reminiscent of white sugar, has no significant UV - vis or fluorescence spectra [...] [ingredient omitted] (5.6 g, 0.1 mol) was mixed with [ingredient omitted] (30%, 0.1 mol). Concentrated sulfuric acid (5 drops) was added at 0 °C, and the mixture was kept at room temperature for 24h. The resultant precipitate was collected by filtration withsuction and air-dried to afford 1 (4.7 g, 65%) in the form of white crystals. This procedure was scaled up to produce kilogram quantities of 1.
This stuff is nearly as powerful as TNT.

I wonder how well the inventories within university chemistry departments are maintained and audited? Have any lost quantities of sulphuric acid or ether lately? It's not hard to see why this particular compound enjoys a degree of favor among the Islamopaths. With some knowledge of how this compound is made, its precursors need to be watched carefully, especially in their purer forms. I presume that stability and or/effectiveness are negatively impacted by presence of impurities.

I'd rather be actively becoming knowledgeable and alert than ignorant and asleep.

Why this interest in triacetone triperoxide? 7/7.