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Issue 1, 2009
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Neutral 5-nitrotetrazoles: easy initiation with low pollution

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5-Nitro-2H-tetrazole (1), 1-methyl-5-nitrotetrazole (2) and 2-methyl-5-nitrotetrazole (3) were synthesized starting from the corresponding 5-amino-substituted tetrazoles in good yields and purities. The compounds were fully characterized by analytical and spectroscopic methods and their solid state structures were determined by low temperature X-ray diffraction techniques. Due to the potential of tetrazoles as energetic materials an extensive computational study (CBS-4M) was performed in order to estimate the energies of formation (ΔfU°) of the molecules, which are highly endothermic (1, 2527 kJ kg−1; 2, 2253 kJ kg−1 and 3, 2006 kJ kg−1). The EXPLO5 software was used to calculated the corresponding detonation velocities (Ddet) and detonation pressures (pdet) (1, Ddet = 9457 m s−1 and pdet = 390 kbar; 2, Ddet = 8085 m s−1 and pdet = 257 kbar and 3, Ddet = 8109 m s−1 and pdet = 262 kbar) by combining the ΔfU° values of the materials with the (X-ray calculated) densities and molecular formulas, giving performances comparable to commonly used secondary explosives (e.g., RDX). Lastly, all three neutral compounds can be easily initiated by impact (<2 J) and with high detonation velocities and excellent combined oxygen and nitrogen contents offer a more powerful and environmentally friendly alternative to commonly used primary explosives in initiating devices.

Graphical abstract: Neutral 5-nitrotetrazoles: easy initiation with low pollution

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Jul 2008, accepted on 08 Sep 2008 and first published on 24 Oct 2008

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B812529E
New J. Chem., 2009,33, 136-147

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    Neutral 5-nitrotetrazoles: easy initiation with low pollution

    T. M. Klapötke, C. M. Sabaté and J. Stierstorfer, New J. Chem., 2009, 33, 136
    DOI: 10.1039/B812529E

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