Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Blowing Things Up While Protecting the Environment

Consider the possibilities. You can now kick ass with impunity while racking up carbon credits. So what if the guy handing out the credits is dead? You'll feel better about yourself, and isn't everything about self-esteem anyway?
New explosives could be more powerful and safer to handle than TNT and other conventional explosives and would also be more environmentally friendly.

TNT, RDX and other explosives commonly used in military and industrial applications often generate toxic gases upon detonation that pollute the environment. Moreover, the explosives themselves are toxic and can find their way into the environment due to incomplete detonation and as unexploded ordnance. They are also extremely dangerous to handle, as they are highly sensitive to physical shock, such as hard impacts and electric sparks.

To make safer, more environmentally friendly explosives, scientists in Germany turned to a recently explored class of materials called tetrazoles. These derive most of their explosive energy from nitrogen instead of carbon as TNT and others do.

Tiny bombs were made from two promising tetrazoles with the alphabet-soup names of HBT and G2ZT. These materials proved less apt to explode accidentally than conventional explosives.
Now if they could just make all those bombs coming from Hollywood less toxic.

Video here.

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