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Direct Nitration of Polyvinyl Alcohol via solvents and sodium nitrite


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#1 Inserttext12

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Posted 22 January 2023 - 04:32 PM

Hello everyone,
After watching explosion&fires video on polymer explosives I got very interested in polyvinyl nitrate as a rocket motor. After searching through some literature it seems the biggest hindrance to the production of PVN is the dislike of sulfuric acid as a drying agent which drives up the production cost. While looking for a workout I found a blurb from a paper that states polyvinyl alcohol can be directly nitrated in a heated bath of solvents and sodium nitrite. However I'm unable to view the full paper as the only website it's on refuses to sell papers to people who aren't affiliated with a university or research lab. So I'm wondering if anyone knows more about how this process would work.

#2 cmjlab

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Posted 22 January 2023 - 11:11 PM

Somewhere in a similar study it said PVA could be nitrated in HNO3 without the sulfuric acid (to make Polyvinyl Nitrate), but had the drawback of bursting into flames when exposed to air again. There was a work around, but I don't recall what (perhaps it was rinsed/diluted in water then mixed with another water soluble binder which could then be dried and granulated) (Maybe you and I were reading the same thing yesterday while I was looking for high molecular polymers which could be used as the fuel in some Chinese KCLO4 fuse and cracker patents)
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#3 Inserttext12

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Posted 22 January 2023 - 11:29 PM

Somewhere in a similar study it said PVA could be nitrated in HNO3 without the sulfuric acid (to make Polyvinyl Nitrate), but had the drawback of bursting into flames when exposed to air again. There was a work around, but I don't recall what (perhaps it was rinsed/diluted in water then mixed with another water soluble binder which could then be dried and granulated) (Maybe you and I were reading the same thing yesterday while I was looking for high molecular polymers which could be used as the fuel in some Chinese KCLO4 fuse and cracker patents)

It's quite possible, do you happen to remember the name of the paper?



#4 Arthur

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Posted 23 January 2023 - 03:30 AM

Maybe you need to find a contact with access to a university or college library.



#5 cmjlab

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Posted 23 January 2023 - 07:23 AM

I apologize I do not recall the title.

My understanding is that as you mentioned, PVA does not nitrate in the presence of Sulfuric Acid (contrary to normal nitration methods). It can be nitrated in concentrated Nitric Acid (HN03), but will burst into flames both when placed in the HN03 due to minor exposure to air and rapid oxidation, as well as if successful somehow, it will burst into flames once separated from the HN03 (again due to oxygen and rapid oxidation). The work around that I recall involved an inert gas to prevent the exposure and bursting into flames, and a subsequent step of converting it to a stable form.

That is the extent of my understanding, but would highly recommend purchasing the complete product if possible, as the equipment/material costs are likely to be high for small scale production.

However, I mention all of this so you at least know not to try it through normal methods of nitration. If it were me, I'd at min. ask someone with a better chemistry background and understanding than me!

Edited by cmjlab, 23 January 2023 - 07:25 AM.


#6 Arthur

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Posted 23 January 2023 - 03:10 PM

If the intended product exists then it's manufacture is possible! BUT maybe it's not by the method you think. The Royal Society of Chemistry definitely has books in it's sale range on fireworks chemistry and on explosives chemistry. Likely the American Chemical Society will have similar books. Go to their websites and search their publications. Apparently nitromethane is made from propane.  






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