Pyrotechnics, Rocketry & Explosive Science

How To Make Organic Explosive PETN

The high explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate was first synthesized in 1894 at the Rheinish-Westfälische Sprengstoff Company in Germany by a chemist researching the nitration process of pentaerythritol in a high concentrationof nitric acid.

PETN remains one of the most powerful conventional explosives ever developed, rivaled only by HMX and RDX .The military, as might be expected, is the largest user of PETN, with annual purchasing well over 2,000 tons. Nonmilitary use is primarily limited to demolition work and as a booster material for secondary explosives such as ANFO, dynamite, etc.

PETN – C5H8O12N4 – is a white crystalline substance that feels powdery to the touch. In its pure form,PETN melts at 141.3 degrees centigrade.

This comprehensive manuscript describes in detail one of several proven methods for the manufacture of high-grade PETN. Included are important physical and chemical properties with which the reader should be familiar before proceeding to the section that describes in detail one of several proven methods for the manufacture of high-grade PETN.

PETN can be made in a number of different ways, but the overall process is always the same.

This manual covers the following topics:

  • Preface
  • PETN – Its Discovery and Properties
  • Physical and Chemical Properties
  • PETN Manufacture
  • Hardware Required
  • Chemicals Required
  • Explosive Properties




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