Mercury(II) fulminate

Mercury(II) fulminate
Mercury(II) fulminate
Identifiers
CAS number 628-86-4 YesY
PubChem 11022444
ChemSpider 9197626 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:39152 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Properties
Molecular formula Hg(CNO)2
Molar mass 284.624 g/mol
Appearance Grey Crystalline solid
Density 4.43 g/cm3
Solubility in water slightly soluble
Solubility soluble in ethanol, ammonia
Explosive data
Shock sensitivity High
Friction sensitivity High
Explosive velocity 4250 m/s
Hazards
Main hazards Highly Toxic, Shock Sensitive Explosive
Autoignition
temperature
180 °C
 YesY fulminate (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Mercury(II) fulminate, or Hg(CNO)2, is a primary explosive. It is highly sensitive to friction and shock. It is mainly used as a trigger for other explosives in percussion caps and blasting caps. Mercury(II) cyanate, though its formula is identical, has a different atomic arrangement; the cyanate and fulminate anions are isomers.

First used as a priming composition in small copper caps after the 1830s, mercury fulminate quickly replaced flints as a means to ignite black powder charges in muzzle loading firearms. Later, during the late 19th century and most of the 20th century, mercury fulminate or potassium chlorate became widely used in primers for self-contained rifle and pistol ammunition. Mercury fulminate has the distinct advantage over potassium chlorate of being non-corrosive, but it is known to weaken with time. Today, mercury fulminate has been replaced in primers by more efficient chemical substances. Those are non-corrosive, less toxic and more stable over time: lead azide, lead styphnate and tetrazene derivatives. In addition, none of these compounds replacing Hg(II) fulminate requires mercury for manufacture, supplies of which can be unreliable in wartime.

Preparation

Mercury(II) fulminate is prepared by dissolving mercury in nitric acid and adding ethanol to the solution. It was first prepared by Edward Charles Howard in 1800.[1] The crystal structure of this compound was only determined in 2007.[2]

Silver fulminate can be prepared in a similar way, but this salt is even more unstable than mercury fulminate; it can even explode under water.

References

  1. ^ Edward Howard (1800). "On a New Fulminating Mercury". Philosophical of the Royal Society of London 90 (1): 204–238. doi:10.1098/rstl.1800.0012. 
  2. ^ W. Beck, J. Evers, M. Göbel, G. Oehlinger and T. M. Klapötke (2007). "The Crystal and Molecular Structure of Mercury Fulminate (Knallquecksilber)". Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie 633 (9): 1417–1422. doi:10.1002/zaac.200700176. 

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • mercury fulminate — noun a fulminate that when dry explodes violently if struck or heated; used in detonators and blasting caps and percussion caps • Syn: ↑fulminate of mercury, ↑fulminating mercury • Hypernyms: ↑fulminate • Part Holonyms: ↑blasting cap, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fulminate — Fulminates are chemical compounds which include the fulminate ion. The fulminate ion is a pseudohalic ion, acting like a halogen with its charge and reactivity. Due to the instability of the ion, they are friction sensitive explosives. The best… …   Wikipedia

  • fulminate of mercury — noun a fulminate that when dry explodes violently if struck or heated; used in detonators and blasting caps and percussion caps • Syn: ↑mercury fulminate, ↑fulminating mercury • Hypernyms: ↑fulminate • Part Holonyms: ↑blasting cap, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fulminate de mercure — Général Nom IUPAC Fulminate de mercure No CAS …   Wikipédia en Français

  • fulminate of mercury — ful mi*nate of mer cu*ry, n. (Chem.) The mercury salt of fulminic acid ({Hg(CNO)2}), called also {mercury fulminate}. It is prepared as gray crystals, and is used primarily in detonators for detonating high explosives, such as dynamite or TNT.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fulminate of mercury — mercury fulminate mer cu*ry ful mi*nate, n. (Chem.) The mercury salt of fulminic acid ({Hg(CNO)2}), called also {fulminate of mercury}. It is an explosive compound prepared as gray crystals, and is used primarily in detonators for detonating high …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mercury fulminate — fulminate of mercury ful mi*nate of mer cu*ry, n. (Chem.) The mercury salt of fulminic acid ({Hg(CNO)2}), called also {mercury fulminate}. It is prepared as gray crystals, and is used primarily in detonators for detonating high explosives, such… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mercury fulminate — mer cu*ry ful mi*nate, n. (Chem.) The mercury salt of fulminic acid ({Hg(CNO)2}), called also {fulminate of mercury}. It is an explosive compound prepared as gray crystals, and is used primarily in detonators for detonating high explosives, such… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mercury poisoning — Classification and external resources Elemental mercury ICD 10 T …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury(II) cyanide — Mercury(II) cyanide …   Wikipedia

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