TNT vs Dynamite
TNT and dynamite are explosive material, but they are completely different explosives with few similarities. People more often think that TNT and dynamite are the same or dynamite contains TNT, which is a misconception. Dynamite was invented by Alfred Nobel, and it soon replaced gunpowder.
TNT is the shortened name used for trinitrotoluene. It is a toluene molecule with three nitro groups substituted at 2,4 and 6 positions. So more specifically, TNT is 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene. The chemical formula of this compound is C6H2(NO2)3CH3 and, it has the following structure.
Its molar mass is 227.13 g/mol. TNT is a yellow color solid which is earlier used as a dye. The melting point of TNT is 80.35 °C, and at 295 °C, it decomposes. TNT is one of the best known explosive materials. When producing TNT in industrial level, there are three processes involved. In the first process, toluene is nitrated. For this, a mixture of sulfuric acid and nitric acid is used. When nitro groups are attaching, it attaches in three steps. First mono nitrotoluene is produced and separated. This is then nitrated to produce dinitrotoluene product. In the final step, dinitrotoluene is nitrated separately to produce the desired TNT product. These explosives are used to prepare bombs and for other military applications. Using TNT for explosives is useful as it is stable compared to other explosives. TNT can be used solely for explosives, or it is mixed with other compounds to prepare explosive materials. Explosion reaction of TNT is due to TNT decomposing upon detonation. This reaction is exothermic. However, this reaction has high activation energy; therefore, the denotation of TNT should be initiated with a high velocity initiator. During the reaction, because of the excess carbon, it can yield more energy if the TNT is mixed with oxygen rich compounds. TNT doesn’t dissolve in water or absorb water, which is helpful when storing them. Moreover, TNT is also used to produce charge transfer salts.
Dynamite is a highly explosive material. It has nitroglycerin soaked in a substance such as clay, wood pulp etc. Dynamite has three components, nitroglycerin, one part diatomaceous earth, and a small admixture of sodium carbonate. This mixture is then wrapped in a stick so that it gets a form of a short stick. This produce a very high energy and explosion takes place upon detonation. Dynamite is used for various purposes such as, causing explosions in mining, construction industries, etc. However, they are not used for military purposes because of the instability. Dynamite is extremely shock sensitive. Over the time, it degrades and turns into more unstable forms. Therefore, they become highly dangerous to use and transport.
What is the difference between TNT and Dynamite?
• TNT is a chemical compound whereas dynamite is a mixture.
• TNT is trinitrotoluene and dynamite contains nitroglycerin.
• TNT contains 4.184 megajoules per kilogram, and dynamite contains 7.5 megajoules per kilogram.
• TNT is stable than dynamite.
• TNT is used for military purposes, whereas dynamite is not.