6 comments

  • Calvin Dodge

    Minor nit: the OKC bomb used ammonium nitrate, not ammonium perchlorate.

  • wayne

    Calvin–
    I heard that as well. It was ammonium nitrate + fuel-oil mixture, as far as I know.

    The Huntsman’s, are all crony-rino-statists. Don’t let the Mormon stuff or the Cancer Institute fool you

  • wayne

    FYI–
    ammonium perchlorate is available from Sigma Aldrich, retail, for “$211 the kilogram.” This is the most expensive way/amount, to buy it, but gives you a relative value-measure by which to judge. They have 4 kilo’s in stock for immediate shipment.

    My son-in-law (chem engineer) informs me this can be synthesized on a mass industrial-scale, fairly easily and in relatively short order. (on the order of week’s, and not month’s) EPA approval however, will take 12-18 months.

    It is a “specialty-chemical” and heavily regulated by the EPA, under the clean drinking water act of 2011. This explains in part, why only well-connected chemical companies play in this market.
    (Huntsman is one a few companies that can afford to comply with EPA regulations.)

    It does have a definite shelf-life as well, and can not be stored indefinitely. (And it costs a fortune to clean-up, if you spill it.)
    (It’s an Energizer-Bunny type of Government Contract, it’s keep paying & paying & paying.)

  • LocalFluff

    I thought there were plenty of solid rocket fuel being produced, for military ICBMs and anti-tank missiles and what not. Maybe they prefer other types. Fuel represents only 2% or so of the total launcher costs, so it doesn’t seem very “strategic” to “protect” its production domestically.

  • Calvin Dodge: You are correct. I allowed my memory to rule when I said that, which is always a mistake. Fact checking must always be done!

  • wodun

    Considering the military applications, there are reasons to protect domestic production other than cost. But there are probably better solutions to doing so.

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