DEVELOP PROCESSES FOR THE RECOVERY OF EXPLOSIVE SCRAP.
Progress rept. no. 1.
PICATINNY ARSENAL DOVER NJ
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Explosive scrap, which is liable to be contaminated with grit or other foreign material, is accumulated during the course of loading operations. Since Pentolite is a relatively expensive explosive it was considered desirable to have a method available for the recovery of the components of this explosive. Solubilities of PETN and TNT in several solvents have been determined with a view to developing separation methods for Pentolite based on differential solubilities of these explosives. Two methods for the recovery of TNT and PETN from either 1090 or 5050 Pentolite have been developed, using carbon tetrachloride and benzene, respectively, to selectively dissolve the TNT. The PETN so produced is obtained in satisfactory yield and compiles with the specification requirements for Class C PETN. The TNT produced compiles with the requirements for Grade II TNT. Since the sole difference between the TNT obtained and Grade I TNT lies in the setting point, which is lowered because of dissolved PETN, the TNT could be reused for the manufacture of Pentolite. Of the two processes developed, that using benzene appears more economical, and furthermore, is free from the danger which might result from the hydrolysis or decomposition of carbon tetrachloride due to moisture in the presence of iron. Author