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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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March 31, 2010

Darn It All

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Posted by Derek

Well, now, this is a disappointment. In a new Angewandte Chemie paper, a French team reports synthesizing trinitropyrazole. And it's. . .well, it's well-behaved. Surprisingly insensitive. Not that touchy. Might actually be useful as a storable high-energy material that could actually be handled.

The fools! Don't they realize that Angewandte is the place to unload the barely-in-our-plane-of-existence compounds, the sweat-starting, nostril-flaring "How could it blow up? It's in liquid nitrogen!" stuff? Surely there's a better home for things with actual utility, the Journal of Not So Horrible Once You've Made Them, Really, or "That Wasn't So Bad Now, Was It" Communications. Sheesh.

Comments (13) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: The Scientific Literature


1. startup on March 31, 2010 8:19 AM writes...

Well, can you name a better journal to publish a chemistry paper in?

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2. J-bone on March 31, 2010 8:33 AM writes...

Well, can you name a better journal to publish a chemistry paper in?

Doesn't understand sarcasm.

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3. Sili on March 31, 2010 8:34 AM writes...

Now I'm disappointed that there is a Journal of Stuff That Goes Boom.

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4. Pete on March 31, 2010 8:37 AM writes...

Once the rockets are up...

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5. HelicalZz on March 31, 2010 8:51 AM writes...

Not 'sweat starting'?

I guarantee there was indeed plenty of sweating. Every single time the PI went 'Hmmm ... why didn't that blow up?', and sent the grad student back into the lab to 'warm it up some more' or 'try hitting it with this larger hammer'.


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6. Scott on March 31, 2010 9:16 AM writes...

No! Don't start sweating, whatever you do.

This stuff explodes when exposed to human secretions.

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7. Hap on March 31, 2010 9:21 AM writes...

1) There could be some safety notices later when someone doesn't prepare it carefully enough or does something stupid and takes out their lab, and the one next door, and the ones in nearby counties... Klapotke or Christe'll probably have some ACIEE papers eventually.

2) Maybe it's the dreaded Murphy nitropyrazole - if you say "This isn't so bad" (or its equivalent within audible range, it detonates.

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8. opsomath on March 31, 2010 9:37 AM writes...

Dear Sir,

I lol'd at

"Journal of Not So Horrible Once You've Made Them, Really, or "That Wasn't So Bad Now, Was It" Communications."

That is all.

Sincerely, opsomath.

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9. Rhenium on March 31, 2010 10:07 AM writes...

The ACIE title pun... "Lowering the boom". ROFLMAO

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10. tyrosine on March 31, 2010 2:47 PM writes...

There's a company that sells 1,3,5-triazido-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene. They won't ship it by plane, but according to the manufacturer, it's stable enough to bottle and sell. Anyone that knows azide-stability will realize that the nitros are stabilizing the azides, and I'm going to guess, vice-versa.

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11. Hap on March 31, 2010 3:35 PM writes...

It's not from the same people that sell FOOF on scale, right?

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12. Thomas Womack on April 1, 2010 6:15 AM writes...

Ah, this is 3,4,5-trinitropyrazole. is an earlier report of 1,3,4-trinitropyrazole (3,4-dinitro + NH4NO3 + (CF3CO)2O); that too is boringly stable.

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13. milkshake on April 1, 2010 8:42 PM writes...

It is going to be terribly acidic - 4-nitropyrazole already happily dissolves in diluted ammonia. I suppose they will make ammonium salt from it because one does not wish to have a strong acid used as explosive or a solid propellant...

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