Acetone peroxide is a primary high explosive. It is the product of the reaction between hydrogen peroxide and acetone and is an acid catalyst. It is notable for being a high explosive that does not contain nitrogen, but is very unstable and typically too dangerous for practical uses in an impure form. The oxidization that occurs when burning is:
2 C9H18O6 + 21 O2 --> 18 H2O + 18 CO2
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Step 1: Materials
- 50 ml acetone (purchase at your local hardware store)
- 25 ml of 30% hydrogen peroxide (can be found at K-Mart, Safeway, a hair salon, pharmacies, and many other places. I find the best concentration is sold as a hair bleaching product)
- 5 ml muriatic acid (also known as hydrochloric acid, it can be found at most hardware stores)
Step 2: Procedure
- Pour the H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) into a glass jar.
- Add the acetone to the glass jar.
- Slowly add the HCl (muriatic/hydrochloric acid) into the glass jar.
- Keep in a refrigerator for one day. This is very important! If made above 10 degrees celsius, the reaction will produce the "dimmer" of the two possible molecular variations. This is much too dangerous for use! By lowering the temperature of the reaction below 10 degrees, you are creating the trimmer, a more stable form of acetone peroxide. See here for more information.
- Filter the liquid, then let dry.
Once dry, you should see fine, white crystals. Scrape carefully (VERY carefully! Acetone peroxide can be ignited by touch!) into a container with a perforated lid, but do not store for more than a week! Acetone peroxide has been known to spontaneously explode.