Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This thing came across my radar screen:

In science, a 'Binary compound' is a chemical compound containing two different chemical elements.

A binary explosive is an explosive made of two components that become explosive when mixed.

A binary chemical weapon contains two chemicals that when combined make a toxic agent, such as featured in the 1972 novel Binary by Michael Crichton (writing as John Lange):

My professional opinion as a Special Forces engineer: I believe this is an explosive similar to fulminate of mercury ( Hg(CNO)2 ) used in percussion caps (primers) and blasting caps, or perhaps nitrocellulose (a.k.a. guncotton), both of which have been around for at least a hundred years.

Primers are a lot more powerful than people give them credit for, but they are not THAT powerful. This substance, while explosive, does not actually 'vaporize' the watermelon; rather, it pushes it off the post. Still, if you didn't know what you were doing, you could blow some fingers off.

BE ADVISED: DO NOT experiment with creating such substances in your home, using information gleaned off the Internet. Not only are such chemical reactions subject to variances due to standard temperature and pressure (remember the Underwear Bomber's bomb failed to detonate, but it still burned his entire 'manly package' clean off); the recipes contain intentional inaccuracies, planted there for wannabe revolutionaries to blow themselves up before they can harm the general public.



  1. My dad in his USAF and Civil Service/Academic Career as, among other things, a researcher, made Nitrogen Triiodide when he was a kiddo because it seemed an interesting thing to do. Turns out it will sometimes touch off when a house fly lands on it and had significant entertainment value. And he wonders how he ended up with Boomer Lad for his son? :-)

    At one point in his career he managed to inadvertently blow up a Federally owned lab, and burn the beard off his face simultaneusly, while giving the Fire Folks an interesting predicament, but it was a worthy experiment. Decades ago and the statue of limitations is up, it was an accident, nobody was injured other than him, and he didn't get fired. All things considered, worked out ok.

    Can't make omlettes without breaking your own "eggs" at times???

  2. I would like to see the same demonstration done with two clear gallon bottles of water and the 'explosive device' between them. I am betting that there is an electrically set 'cherry bomb' already embedded in the watermelon.

    Also, what kind of idiot would place a high explosive and heat sensitive device at the bottom of a long tube with the fuse sticking out of the top and light it. This kind of setup is not reliable -- orient the tube horizontal.

    And yes, there are some websites out there for BSU (blowing s@#$ up) but a lot of the procedures are stunningly bad lab practice -- if it doesn't blow up in your face, you can have really bad respiratory problems for months after (if not fatal if you have asthma)

  3. I've used Tannerite, a binary explosive you can legally buy online. WOW! It is loud. Shot it with a 7mm Mag and the BOOM of the Tannerite dwarfed the sound of the rifle.

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    1. Can you explain me what the hell is a binary explosive? I still don't get the concept.