Ammonium perchlorate is a chemical substance that is produced through the combination of ammonia and perchloric acid.
Ammonia is a compound formed by nitrogen and hydrogen whereas perchloric acid can be generated through different routes. One of them by mixing potassium perchlorate and sulfuric acid or the reaction of sodium perchlorate and hydrochloric acid and another one is through electrolytic oxidation of hydrochloric acid.
Ammonia as I said before, is a substance composed of hydrogen and nitrogen. It is a gas although it can be found in liquid conditions in low temperatures or high pressure and it can also appear in a solid condition. It’s a substance easily found in nature but it can be extremely hazardous when it’s found in concentrated quantities.
Ammonia is also present in our everyday life especially in cleaning products or in the synthesis of pharmaceutical products. But one of its most important uses is as a fertiliser for crops as well as removing microbes from some foods like fruits, vegetables and meat. Other uses are in the textile industry or woodworking. Ammonia is not a potential risk for humans since our bodies can process this substance and be easily excreted. However, for marine life ammonia can be deathly. For that reason, this substance can cause a huge environmental impact and we should be careful of its use in the water. The second substance used in ammonium perchlorate is perchloric acid.
A colourless substance commonly found in liquid form and acts as a strong and powerful oxidizer, giving this feature to the whole formula of ammonium perchlorate. It means that it oxidizes other substances that is, it possesses the quality of accepting their electrons. It transfers negative atoms such as oxygen to other substances provoking a combusting reaction in explosive environments. For this reason, ammonium perchlorate is used in many different fields such as the aerospace industry where this explosive feature is applied in the launching of rockets.
On its own, ammonium perchlorate is not reactive enough and it does not entail any hazard situation in terms of explosion. However, because of its oxidizing properties, when it’s in contact with a metal like aluminium or any other organic material like wood or plastic, made of petroleum, it highly reacts with fire ignition and depending on the quantity, the magnitude of the explosion can cause a serious damage. Other important hazards of ammonium perchlorate are related to health issues. It has been proved that its toxicity is very small and when ingested in small quantities, it can be easily eliminated by our bodies through urine. However, a continuous use of this substance can cause serious problems in the thyroid gland producing a decrease of weight in the individual. Other health concerns related to the use of this substance is its direct contact with the skin.
They provoke irritation in skin, eyes or even nose when inhaled. Ammonium perchlorate becomes a more serious matter when this substance is found in blood, high levels of this substance prompt to headaches and dizziness and in the worst cases collapse and trouble breathing. As a consequence, ammonium perchlorate should always be treated with precaution following all the measures and regulations established by the authorities, hence there are very few companies allowed to manufacture ammonium perchlorate. If want to buy ammonium perchlorate at a specific weight for rocket or military purposes you can now purchase it from ammoniumperchlorate.org.