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Decomposition of Nitrocellulose

  1. Aug 30, 2015 #1
    I synthesized 5 grams of nitrocellulose from cotton balls. I stored it for a couple weeks with no problem. I feel as if I didn't neutralize it very well, but I did wash it with water very thouroughly and dried it. It was safe to touch and dried fine. I stored it in a plastic ziploc bag for two weeks and all was good. I made another 5 gram batch which washed out even more white and neutralized to the full extent. I added the batches together in the same bag for further use. After another two weeks I noticed the bag had a foggy condensation look, even though I know the substance was completely dry. My first instinct was to open the bag and leave it to evaporate. After about two weeks, I examined it again and I noticed everything was mushy with a strong chemical smell. I dumped it into water to wash it with sodium bicarbonate. Before I could add the baking soda, the nitrocellulose completely dissolved. Did I discover the decomposition of nitrocellulose? Or is there another factor in play here?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2015 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Thread locked, pending possible moderation.
  4. Aug 31, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, we don't discuss synthesis of explosives.
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