Ammonium perchlorate reactions

The reaction that ammonium perchlorate produces is different in a variety of cases and can be triggered by many chemical substances. This is due to its characteristics, being highly reactive and a dangerous explosion hazard.

ammonium perchlorate reactions

Ammonium perchlorate as a hazard

Before analysing and explaining some of the different chemical reactions that we can create as a result of mixing ammonium perchlorate with other substances and exposing it to various circumstances, we need to state the danger carried by doing this kind of activities.

In order to do so, it´s necessary to explain that ammonium perchlorate is classified as an explosion hazard, commonly used in the creation of explosives and fuel for rocket propellants. Explosives have a shipping classification system that shows the level of danger that a substance represents. There are six categories (from more dangerous to less dangerous):

  • Type 1.1: this kind of explosive is the most dangerous of all given that it can cause a mass explosion quite easily. Ammonium perchlorate is one of them.
  • Type 1.2: in this case, a projection can be triggered, although not a mass explosion.
  • Type 1.3: this is the case of, for example, smoke grenades, where a fire and a minor blast can be expected.
  • Type 1.4: an example of this kind of explosive is the ammunition used in small arms, which triggers minor explosions.
  • Type 1.5: type 1.5 explosives are those which are a hazard because they are blasting agents, very insensitive, with small probability of detonating under normal circumstances of transport.
  • Type 1.6: these ones are explosives, but they are very insensitive and they don´t trigger mass explosions.

Ammonium perchlorate doesn´t react and affect to our health by itself, but it does it when combined with other substances, like magnesium, ammonium or potassium.

Ammonium perchlorate and metal powders reaction

Ammonium perchlorate (ClO4NH4) is a powerful oxidizer that is commonly used as a propellant. This substance is preferred over other ones for its capability to mix with other chemical compounds and small quantities of polymer, even if other substances have more oxygen.

Metal powders are used as propellant as well, to increase the impulse of the propellant. Between the most commonly used metal powders we can find aluminum, magnesium, zirconium, boron and beryllium.

When ammonium perchlorate is mixed with powders like zirconium and hafnium it becomes highly flammable, triggering an explosion when exposed to a combustion flame.

ammonium perchlorate reaction

Ammonium perchlorate, magnesium and polymer fuel reaction

Ammonium perchlorate, magnesium and polyurethane have an explosive reaction when they are mixed and exposed to a flame. This reaction is similar to the ones that happen when rocket fuel is burned in solid-state rocket engines: in these reactions, ammonium perchlorate works as an oxidizer, while substances like aluminum or magnesium powder work as a fuel, and polymer fuel is used as a binder and, of course, fuel.

A mixture related to this one is the one composed of ammonium perchlorate and decaborane, as it can be used as rocket fuel as well.

Other reactions with ammonium perchlorate

Ammonium perchlorate doesn´t only react when it´s exposed to a flame, but it also triggers a reaction in other situations. For example, when ammonium perchlorate it´s mixed with lithium borohydride the process is the one that follows: ammonium perchlorate is mixed with lithium borohydride and a small quantity of hydrogen. Secondly, another small quantity of hydrogen is added after waiting two minutes. In this way, it will have an explosion as a reaction.

Another similar reaction occurs when ammonium perchlorate is mixed with lithium aluminum hydride: a mixture of both elements is combined to nitric acid, having an explosion almost instantly.

Ammoniumperchlorate and Aldebarán Sistemas work to offer the highest safety standards and the best services. As we could read in this article, handling this kind of substances is risky and dangerous, reason why in Aldebarán Sistemas we take into account every advice, law and rule in order to give the best service possible to our clients. If you need more information or you are looking for an ammonium perchlorate supplier, feel free to contact us, we will be pleased to solve your doubts!