01 November 2009

Nitroglycerine Manufacture - Continuous Flow

In order to carry out a chemical reaction requires two things: mass transfer and heat transfer. Mass transfer is usually carried out by stirring, eg by using a magnetic stirrer on a small scale, or, an overhead motor attached to a stirrer on a larger scale. Whilst heat transfer is usually carried out by jacketting the vessel where the reaction takes place.

Using a conventional stirrer in a reaction vessel isn't the only method of mixing reagents so that they will react. A fascinating example of mixing is found in the following patents, "Method for manufacturing organic nitro compounds" and "Improvements in the manufacture of nitric acid esters of aliphatic alcohols".

Here, an aspirator is used to mix the reagents.

The reagents in this case being glycerine and a nitrating mixture of acids. The second patent takes the idea in the first patent and finesses it by separating the reaction mixture - now containing the product - in a centrifugal separator.

Of course, the reagents need not necessarily be the starting materials for explosives, they may be reagents for the preparation of, for example, biodiesel.

Section 58 Disclaimer

I would advise against making anything explosive.

Making explosives without any practical experience of using chemicals is like trying to learn to drive from a book, with the added difficulty that if you ever stall the car, it will explode and quite likely kill you."

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