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Synthesis and toxicity of hydrazine

  1. May 20, 2008 #1
    I have a few questions about the synthesis and toxicity of hydrazine (N2H4). First of all, is it possible to synthesize hydrazine under a fume hood by mixing concentrated ammonia, sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and a gellatinous material (gelatin?)? I have read that high temperatures and high pressures could be necessary, but are those criteria only for high yield syntheses? Also, will the gelatin in any way counteract the acrid fumes of NH2Cl and other chloroamines, and ultimately hydrazine? and will the product be safe to put into a rocket as fuel? Any cautions on the toxicity of hydrazine will also be taken into consideration. Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2008 #2


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    Gelatin would react quite quickly with chloramines. Is this a published method?
  4. May 21, 2008 #3
    Just buy it :smile:. Seriously though, why go through all of the trouble of making it if aldrich will send you a bottle of the stuff in 1 day? Hydrazine is pretty toxic and is an explosive hazard.
  5. May 22, 2008 #4


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    Just a quick note to remind you that the synthesis of rocket fuel can be considered a dangerous activity, and we will not permit detailed synthesis instructions to be posted here on the PF. Please see the stickie post at the top of this Chemistry forum, addressing Dangerous Activities:


    I'll leave this thread open for now, but if it starts to go into too much detail, I'll consider a lock.
  6. May 22, 2008 #5


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    For what it's worth, I think this thread has already stepped beyond the bounds of our Guidelines, but I'll defer to C-tree's judgement on this.
  7. Jun 6, 2008 #6
    The one thing I'd like to add here, and I can say with complete assurance; hydrazine is exquisitely dangerous stuff. That may be somewhat obvious from its use as rocket fuel, but what you may not know is that it is one half of a family of binary explosives... and those explosives are noted for thier remarkable degree of persistency for a liquid explosive compound. Due to its low volatility, it can be dispersed in an area, be absorbed by the soil, and still retain its full explosive characteristics for a period of approximately 4 days.

    Also, the reason given that these compounds are rarely used is that they have "mostly been superseded by cheaper and safer compounds, largely due to the expense and exceptionally poisonous nature of the hydrazine component." (emphasis added)

    It's also worth noting that, in the USA, mere possesion of such a chemical could run afoul of the law quite easily, regardless of the intended use.
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