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Why nitrates are so explosive?

  1. Mar 22, 2013 #1
    I was wondering..

    - TNT has nitrates
    - Gunpowder has nitrates
    - Dynamite has nitrates

    Hmm.. so what makes nitrates so explosive?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2013 #2
    Nitro(NO2) and nitrate(NO3) groups in these substances decompose into nitrogen gas (N2) during the explosion. When a triple bond forms between the nitrogens, energy is released (~-950 kilojoules/mol). The formation of bonds in CO, CO2, H2O (products of TNT's explosion) also contribute to the release of energy. The fast rate of reaction combined with the high pressure created by the newly formed gasses play a key role in how powerful an explosion is.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
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