In regard to your story in last week’s issue, “Tannerite explosions rattle community,” characterizing Tannerite as a fuel is only correct if you are talking about it to fire off a rocket. Note that the chemistry given for the components is backward: The ammonium nitrate and ammonium perchlorate are powerful oxidizing agents, while aluminum powder is a powerful reducing agent.
The idea that it is “100 percent legal” does not make it right to use without considering neighbors. It should probably be used in a sound-muffling bunker, which is generally done with piles of sand bags. I’ve used that method in a lab when explosive chemicals were no longer needed. The security people used them for target practice under those controlled conditions.
Nick Spinelli, retired chemist
Community Jan 22, 2020