The acetone peroxide ( triacetone triperoxide , Peroxiacetona , TATP) is an organic peroxide. It is a high explosive that can be manufactured with household products: sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide) and acetone.
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Acetone peroxide was discovered in 1895 by R. Wolffenstein (Chemische Berichte 28, 2265 (1895)). More information on the compound, including the relative proportions of monomer , dimer and trimer is available in the Journal of the American Chemical Society 81, 6261 (1959). Other sources include crystal structure and three-dimensional analysis in The Chemistry of Peroxides edited by Saul Patai (pp. 396–7), and also in Vogel’s Textbook of Practical Organic Chemistry.
Also known as “peroxyacetone”, acetone peroxide generally refers to the trimer cyclic compound TCAP (tri-cyclic, or tri-cycle acetone peroxide), also called triacetone triperoxide (TATP), obtained from the mixture of hydrogen peroxide with acetone and using small amounts of acid (mentioned above) as a catalyst. The cyclic dimer (C6H12O4), the open monomer and the dimer are also formed, but under the appropriate conditions the cyclic trimer is the primary product. Under mildly acidic or neutral conditions, the reaction is much slower and produces more monomeric peroxide than the reaction in the presence of a strong acid. Catalyst. Acetone peroxide normally deflagrates, in contact with a flame, without being confined in less than about 2 g. Above this amount it is normal for it to detonate, although even a slight confinement can facilitate detonation in smaller amounts. Completely dry peroxyacetone is much more likely to detonate as opposed to fresh product still wet with water or acetone. The oxidation that occurs when it burns is given by the stoichiometric equation: 2 C9H18O6 + 21 O2 → 18 H2O + 18 CO2
In fact, the oxidation of acetone catalyzed in an acid medium always produces a mixture of dimeric and trimeric forms. The trimer is the most stable form, but not much more than the dimer. All forms of peroxyacetone are very sensitive to initiation and degrade in long-term storage, so it is only used as an explosive by curious amateurs and unconventional forces (guerrillas, terrorists). Nor does any form of peroxyacetone actually explode spontaneously.
Peroxyacetone or acetone peroxide is highly sensitive to temperature, friction, and impact. Even professional chemists have been injured when trying to use it.