Activation of Zero-Valent Magnesium using Acetic Acid for the Degradation of Triacetone Triperoxide in Ethanol

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Activation of Zero-Valent Magnesium using Acetic Acid for the Degradation of Triacetone Triperoxide in Ethanol Abstract Triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a cyclic peroxide, is an explosive frequently used by terrorists and amateur chemists due to the ease of synthesis and the availability of reagents. A degradation method for degrading TATP in ethanol (EtOH) was proposed using an activated, zero-valent magnesium (ZVMg) system. Different acids were tested to determine their effectiveness in activating Mg for the degradation of TATP, and short chain carboxylic acids, particularly acetic acid, were observed to have the greatest effect on the TATP degradation rate. Other ZVMg systems were also tested including ZVMg mechanically alloyed with Pd (Mg/Pd) and Mg/C, and the half-lives observed from the Mg, Mg/Pd, and Mg/C systems activated with acetic acid were determined to be 210 min, 69.3 min, and 2.24 min, respectively. The addition of the acetic acid to ZVMg was suggested to have two roles in the TATP degradation mechanism: (i) the removal of the passive oxide/hydroxide layer surface exposing the zero-valent Mg and (ii) the complexation of the carboxylate anion and Mg may provide a pathway for catalytic activity. The degradation of TATP in EtOH using this activated ZVMg system appears promising as an effective treatment method for TATP. Keywords: TATP, Mg, metal activation, degradation, explosives 1. Introduction Triacetone triperoxide (TATP) is a trimeric cyclic peroxide explosive first synthesized in 1895 [1], and is prepared using a reaction mixture consisting of hydrogen peroxide and acetone, with the addition of an acid catalyst [2]. Many recipes for the preparation of TATP are readily obtained using any inte... ... middle of paper ... ...ion, Proceedings of the 5th Annual International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, (2006) Monterey, CA, May 22-25. [17] M.E. Sigman, C.D. Clark, T. Caiano, R. Mullen, Analysis of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and TATP synthetic intermediates by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, Rapid Commun. in Mass Spectrom., 22 (2) (2008), 84-90. [18] R.C. Weast, (Ed.-in-Cheif) CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 90th ed. CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1977-2009. [19] A.K. Katz, J.P. Glusker, G.D. Markham, C.W. Bock, Deprotonation of water in the presence of carboxylate and magnesium ions, J. of Phys. Chem. B, 102 (33) (1998) 6342-6350. [20] A. Yliniemela, T. Uchimaru, T. Hirose, B.W. Baldwin, K. Tanabe, A computational study on magnesium complexation with formate and hydrogen malonate anions, J. Mol. Struct.: THEOCHEM, 369 (1996) 9-22.

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