The Next Generation of High-Performance Explosives Developed by LANL and Army Research Lab

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September 10, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: September 10 on

For more than 100 years, trinitrotoluene (TNT) has been the go-to explosive for military, construction, demolition, and mining uses. But during TNT’s long reign, concerns have arisen over its toxicity, safety, and performance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared the removal of TNT a priority.

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Army Research Laboratory have met the challenge of developing a next-generation replacement for TNT. They created bis(1,2,4-oxadiazole)bis(methylene) dinitrate, or BOM, a higher-performing, safer, and less-toxic replacement for TNT.

“BOM is 50 percent more energetic than TNT, so it is well-qualified to replace TNT as a high-energy-density explosive,” said David Chavez, project leader in the High Explosive Science and Technology group. “BOM is considered a greener and safer explosive because it’s less toxic to people and the environment than TNT.”

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