Explosive Industry Tank Car Commodities

John Hile <john66h@...>

"Standard Tank Car Journeys" (1921?) lists several liquids used in the
manufacture of explosives. They are: acetone, alcohol, ammonia,
benzol, toluol, carbolic acid, nitric acid, glycerin and sulphuric acid.

The chapter on explosives discusses the products of the explosives
industry. Following are quotes...

Most propellants are nitrates, that is, combinations from nitric acid.

Among the smokeless propellants, the combinations of guncotton and
nitroglycerin lead the field.

Guncotton is made by immersions of pulp from pure cotton in nitric and
sulphuric acids. ...for use in smokeless powder...dissolution in
acetone or in certain benzene compounds.

Nitroglycerin is made from nitric acid and glycerin...principle
component in dynamite.

Alcohol is used to form fulminates.

Ammonia is employed in preparing ammonia nitrates.

An old and simple propellant is nitrobenzene...nitric acid and benzene.

Carbolic acid is the source of picric acid and other high explosive

Toluol, or toluene, combines with nitric acid to make
nitro-toluenes...used with certain ammonium nitrate explosives to
lower the freezing point of dynamite.

T.N.T. (trinitrotoluene)...combination of nitric acid and
toluene...not sensitive to shock.

From napthalene and nitric acid certain explosives are
made...particularly suitable for coal mining.

...various ingredients from coal tar...are employed...to impart some
particular characteristic. The principal ones are benzol and toluol.
They must be of a high degree of purity to prevent...products of
inferior stability.

-John Hile

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