• The Explosive Chemistry of Nitrogen: A Fascinating Journey From 9th Century to the Present

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    • Keywords


      Nitrogen, explosives, nitration, azide, pentazenium, pentazolate.

    • Abstract


      The chemistry behind explosives is marked with the omnipresenceof the element nitrogen. The discovery of the explosiveproperties of nitrogen-based compounds comprises many interestingand serendipitous observations made by inquisitivescientists. In this article, we unravel the fascinating historybehind the development of explosives from the 9th century tothe present. Every country with an army keeps on upgradingthe sharpness and power of their arsenal, and in this regard,the role played by the chemists in developing new explosives,and the chemistry behind these explosives are explained inthis article. The basic chemical properties of explosives, theirclassification, comparison and methods of evaluation are explained.The current status of research in making new explosivesand the challenges involved in making explosive polynitrogencompounds such as pentazolates and pentazenium arealso illustrated.

    • Author Affiliations


      Dheeraj Kumar1 Anil J Elias2

      1. Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India.
      2. Department of Chemistry, IIT Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110 016, India.
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