Terrorists don’t need extensive chemistry training to prepare TATP. And the materials required to synthesize it—hydrogen peroxide, acetone, and mineral acid—are widely available in large quantities.
• October 2010: Three hazmat team members in North Carolina were injured while assisting bomb squad members at a location suspected of manufacturing triacetone triperoxide (TATP).
I wonder how many people have risked this same inadvertent synthesis by washing out a NoChromix cleaning solution (which to my knowledge contains an oxidizing peroxide) with acetone to try and dry it faster….
It is certainly not easy to get higher volume peroxide solutions in the UK now, even though they were routinely used by hairdressers. Restrictions were introduced after some terrorists used the local woods as their base to prepare some TATP (and somehow didn’t blow themselves up) .
Wow thanks–very good lesson for students. Given how common these chemicals are in labs (acetone and peroxides of various kinds), its amazing that this does not happen more often.
the stabilized 3% H202 in your medicine cabinet’s probably not an explosion hazard. Don’t know why you’d be chasing it with nail polish remover (the acetone most folks have right next to the peroxide in the medicine cabinet). Acetone does a decent job dissolving some things that might be clogging up your drain, but strong bases will turn them into a nice, soluble soap.
Therefore, a capillary isotachophoretic method was developed for determination of residual anions (originating from the acid used during TATP synthesis) in the resulting TATP crystals.
The success of the reported procedure depends on controlling the ratio between acetone and hydrogen peroxide as well as the temperature of the reaction mixture.
Similar thing happened in our lab… a glass frit was cleaned with Caro’s acid (Peroxymonosulfuric acid, H2SO5)… after the Caro’s acid went through the frit, the absent-minded chemist squirted a dash of acetone into the frit to accelerate the drying process… big mistake… boom
Acetone peroxide can also occur accidentally, when suitablechemicals are mixed together, for example when is mixed with acetone while making fiberglasscomposites, and left to stand for some time, or when a mixture ofperoxide and hydrochloric acid from etching is mixed with waste acetone from cleaningthe finished board and allowed to stand. While amounts obtainedthis way are typically much smaller than from intentionalproduction, they are also less pure and prepared without cooling,and hence very unstable.
, including acetone peroxide, , and , find applications as for reactions of eg. or , often encountered whenmaking -reinforced composites. For theseuses, the peroxides are typically in the form of a dilute solutionin an organic solvent, however, even commercial products withhigher concentrations of organic peroxides can form crystals aroundthe lid when older, making the can shock-sensitive. Methyl ethylketone is more common for this purpose, however, as it is stable instorage.
Tetrameric acetone peroxide is more chemicallystable (heating to 120°C for 4 hours), but despite this, it isstill a very dangerous . It can be prepared using (without acidpresent) as a catalyst with up to 40% yield if such as , or a such as is added.
15 vol H2O2 solution is apparently OK, and 2-4+ grams of TATP are considered likely to explode uninvited. The trimer, made by keeping the reaction below 10C is slightly more stable than the dimer. However most forms are not pure, and not stable on storage. Full manufacturing details are widely available, but pre-experiment risk assessments are not included or prevalent.
The trimer is the more stable form, but not much more so thanthe dimer. All forms of acetone peroxide are sensitive to . Organic peroxidesare sensitive, dangerous explosives; due to their sensitivity theyare rarely used by well funded militaries. Even for those whosynthesize as a hobby there are far saferexplosives with syntheses nearly as simple as that of acetoneperoxide. It is commonly combined with nitrocellulose by dissolvingthe nitrocellulose in acetone and then mixing in the acetoneperoxide and letting it dry, this results in a mixture that is bothmore stable and somewhat more powerful than acetone peroxide byitself. This mixture is commonly referred to as APNC.