Version:1.0 StartHTML:000000213 EndHTML:000065457 StartFragment:000030094 EndFragment:000065419 StartSelection:000030094 EndSelection:000065379 SourceURL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_perchlorateAmmonium perchlorate - Wikipedia
Ammonium perchlorate ("AP") is an inorganic compound with the formula NH4ClO4. It is a colorless or white solid that is soluble in water. Perchlorate is a powerful oxidizer and ammonium is a good fuel. This combination explains the usefulness of this material as a rocket propellant. Its instability has involved it in a number of accidents, such as the PEPCON disaster.
Ammonium perchlorate (AP) is produced by reaction between ammonia and perchloric acid. This process is the main outlet for the industrial production of perchloric acid. The salt also can be produced by salt metathesis reaction of ammonium salts with sodium perchlorate. This process exploits the relatively low solubility of NH4ClO4, which is about 10% of that for sodium perchlorate.
AP crystallises as colorless rhombohedra.
Like most ammonium salts, ammonium perchlorate decomposes before melting. Mild heating results in production of hydrogen chloride, nitrogen, oxygen, and water.
The combustion of AP is quite complex and is widely studied. AP crystals decompose before melting, even though a thin liquid layer has been observed on crystal surfaces during high-pressure combustion processes. Strong heating may lead to explosions. Complete reactions leave no residue. Pure crystals cannot sustain a flame below the pressure of 2 MPa.
The primary use of ammonium perchlorate is in making solid fuel propellants. When AP is mixed with a fuel (like a powdered aluminium and/or with an elastomeric binder), it can generate self-sustained combustion at far under atmospheric pressure. It is an important oxidizer with a decades-long history of use in solid rocket propellants â€” space launch (including the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster), military, amateur, and hobby high-power rockets, as well as in some fireworks.
Some "breakable" epoxy adhesives contain suspensions of AP. Upon heating to 300 Â°C, the AP degrades the organic adhesive, breaking the cemented joint.
Perchlorate itself confers little acute toxicity. For example, sodium perchlorate has an LD50 of 2-4 g/kg and is eliminated rapidly after ingestion. However, chronic exposure to perchlorates, even in low concentrations, has been shown to cause various thyroid problems, as it is taken up in place of iodine.