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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:56 AM
Original message
I'm not a chemist, help me out here
What common liquids could be combined to make an explosive powerful enough to take down a plane.
Assuming two people to a plane and being limited to probably 20 ounces of material per person, what could they do?

Also if the cabin doors have been reinforced and locked would it be possible to continue the flight?
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. Diet Coke and Mentos
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 09:01 AM by TechBear_Seattle
Don't you ever watch "Mythbusters"?

Added By way of explanation, here is a link to the experiment: http://www.eepybird.com/
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
13. Yesterday, some news anchor held up
a bottle of shampoo with a watch strapped to it, as what a home made terrorist bomb would/could look like.

insane...
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm not a physicist but I know what matters!
I'm not a doctor, either, but I'm losing my patience!

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man4allcats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. I'm not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV either, but
I wouldn't mind it. I bet those soap opera guys get paid pretty well. ;-)

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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. read up
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Good read
Thank you, I still have a quanity question though.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
28. Ask enough questions and get company at your door
or get DU shut down by the feds ;)
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. If you read the Astrolite persistency section - the ban on liquids won't
work. Assuming this is accurate, any material that soaks up the stuff remains explosive for 4 days.

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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
16. You could soak up
an entire suitcase and plant it in either carry on or baggage and do a hell of a lot more damage.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #16
48. Not me. eom
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #5
29. And since most cargo on planes never gets inspected...
the whole thing is a diversion to get folks to stop thinking that we can throw out incumbants in the US & UK.

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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Where do you get hydrazine rocket fuel?
In Britain?

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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #8
61. Hydrazine is used in industrial processes
They use it to make spandex, for instance. It's got a lot of uses.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. "while neglecting to notice its low density"
Looks like this has been overlooked once again...

What this means is it's going to take more than a sports drink bottle full
to do any major damage.
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
19. It' wasn't Astrolite, Astrolite is nitrogen based, detectors would find it
It was TATP, Acetone Peroxide, not Astrolite, although astrolite would definitely destroy a plane, and although it would be easy to transport, it's detectable by trace scanners (when they sniff your luggage and swap your bags). TATP is currently not detectable by current airport scanners.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetone_peroxide
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
6. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
7. It does not take a lot of overpressure to damage an A/C
The damage would domino and would bring it down, even if the cockpit doors were still intact.
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purduejake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Yes it does.
Airplanes can fly without a problem with windows blown out or even holes in them. We've seen it before.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #11
31. It a rate function
not simply pressure
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purduejake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
9. When you're over the ocean...
just a fire can be disasterous.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. Allow me to lighten up the moment then...George Carlin...
I was watching one of his old concerts on HBO last night. He was talking about how he hates to fly, and spoke of using seat cushions as floatation devices.

"Fuckin' great...I'm gonna be floating around in the middle of the ocean clinging on to a pillow full of beer farts!"

:rofl:
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
14. Well, i Am A Chemist
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 09:42 AM by ProfessorGAC
Among other things now, but my first graduate degree is in theoretical chemistry. The answer is VERY few.

There are some flammable liquids with massive explosive force, but only a couple that would generate a supersonic shock wave. (For instance, ethylene oxide.) But, the example i gave is a very volatile, and high vapor pressure material and wouldn't be able to be contained within a plastic bottle. It requires pressurized metal containers. (Something akin to a small beer keg.)

There are of course liquid high explosives (like nitroglycerin), which would pack a huge wallop (the technical term :evilgrin:). But, handling that is limited to 20g or less, even in the manufacturing conditions, where there are experts in synthesis and handling and the conditions are as good as they can possibly be. Nitroglycerin is shock sensitive enough that it could go off in someone's carryon bag just be being jostled on the XRay machine belt!

One could make things VERY scary on a plane with a myriad of liquids that would conflagate, but not detonate. (Those are two very different chemical phenomena.) But, these would not take down a plane. Even gasoline, which is about the most volatile liquid organic that is available in everyday life, would not detonate.

The thing is, the detonation or highly rapid conflagration of an organic liquid requires extremely precise fuel air mixtures and an appropriate ignition source. Not that i recommend it, but one could put out a match by pouring a shot glass of gasoline on it. The mixture would be well above the upper explosion range of gasoline.

Also, remember that liquids, (in vast preponderance) do not burn. The vapor above the surface of the liquid is what burns. So, it's very hard to get an organic liquid, which is stable enough to haul around in a bag or in the pocket, that would burn beyond the small amount of vapor caused by the vapor pressure differential at any given temperature.

Another for instance: A 20ml bottle of gasoline won't burn if the bottle is full. That 20ml would have to be liberated as vapor into an appropriate amount of air volume, then ignited. Now, once that starts, the heat of that combustion would evaporate more of the liquid, which extends the combustion, and so on. The three key steps in all chemical reactions are Initiation, Propagation, and Termination. (The "IPT" of chemistry.) If one can't initiate, all else matters not!

Like i said, if someone had a highly flammable liquid and did initiate combustions, that would be VERY scary and dangerous on an airplane. But, it wouldn't create the sort of shock wave or overpressure that would bring down a plane.
The Professor
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. Informative. And interesting. Thanks. nt
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liberalmike27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #14
26. I hear
I hear them talk about "how much it would take" to bring down a plane too. It would seem that would depend on where the explosion goes off, though as a passenger it wouldn't matter as much. Certainly there are likely areas that are more likely to take planes down, as near fuel tanks, or areas that may destabilize the structural stability of the plane more, where stress is more radical, like near the wings, or perhaps junctions of wires or hydraulic lines.

Certainly the most important part of this to remember is this; all of this is geared to gin up fear in hopes of trying to cling to power. While this attempt has been squashed, and should prove the continued effectiveness of a vigilant law-enforcement both in England and here, it is instead, so obviously, being used for political purposes to scare people into compliance.

Do you even fly? About my only danger is a plane falling on me, and if you don't live in Washington or New York, or some other hub, your chances are even better of avoiding the incredibly small chance of dying, or being injured by terrorism. About a thousand things are more dangerous to you than terrorism. Keep that in mind. Do we talk constantly about Cancer, or heart disease, perhaps adolescent drivers dying in car accidents? No. It won't serve them. "Protect us from the killer bees government, please, oh my the bees are going to get us."

We all need to be aware of, and propagate the idea that this government is using fear to manipulate people into voting for them. You can't deny that there are people out there trying to get back at us for one thing or the other. But you can "clearly" see the political manipulation going on, not the least of which the fact that this story has taken over the Lieberman thrashing, and incumbent vulnerability.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #26
39. Yes I Do
I agree that this is an exaggerated threat. And it's working if you read other posts on this thread. It would seem that an awful lot of people have bought into the fact that this plot was easily accomplished, if not for the heroic efforts of SY and MI5. I'm not knocking them, but i'm not sure the threat is credible enough for the trumpeting of success that has followed.

The Professor
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:19 AM
Response to Reply #39
70. ding ding ding ..you win the second award...
2 people with common sense!!

yeahhhhhh..

fly
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:17 AM
Response to Reply #26
69. ding ding ding!! you win the common sense award!! yeahhhhh
there is one of you out there!!

thank you!!

fly
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #14
27.  I bet you would not need a lot of overpressure to really do damage
especially at 37,000 feet

here is a report that shows that 2g of TATP sends blast debris at supersonic speed
http://www.mne.psu.edu/psgdl/fullscalegunshot.pdf

TATP has the explosive power of 50-80% of an equivalent amount of TNT according to this article.
http://www.officer.com/article/article.jsp?id=30796&sit...
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #27
37. Then We Disagree
Read your own site. The conditions at which that supersonic ejectate was detected was not at ambient pressure or temperature. And, the material was a compressed solid, not loose crystals.

And, the overpressure wave of TATP does not move at supersonic speed beyond the first 30cm per kg of compressed mass.

50% of TNT, which is now only about the 20th most powerful organic explosive, is not that strong.

Now, you're not talking about sneaking a liquid onto a plane, but a full fledged explosive device.
The Professor
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #14
34. What about a binary oxidizer approach?
Some only require stainless steel for containment IIRC.

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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. Huh?
Not sure what you're asking. Remember that the more stable any explosive, the more it takes to create an equal release of energy. So, now you're talking about having to take a half-liter, sealed stainless steel container onto an airplane. Would that EVER have been allowed?
The Professor
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #35
40. You be surprised what I have seen carried on board.
The TSA rule seems t be that if it does not set off the sensors, its ok. I also believe there is some profiling going on, at least at the subconsciously.

While not chemistry, what do you think a Lunesberg Lens looks like on their scanner? I saw one go through a scanner the other day...no problem.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. I Guess It Would Depend. . .
. . .on the training. They might be able to identify that lens, because they've been exposed to it in the past or in training. And, a large stainless steel container, which would not be penetrated by those low level xrays, would arouse suspicion in all but the dullest inspector.
The Professor
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dave123williams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
62. What about about Hypergolic combinations?

Sepcifically, aneline hypergolic liquids? Common fuel forms include aniline and nitric acid combinations, and hydrogen peroxide and aniline, both of which I believe are explosives. I think they'd still be pretty unstable when mixed, but perfectly stable if not....they would also be a lot easier to make in a basement in Essex.

Agreed; it ain't nitroglycerin they're packing...way too unstable... I'd think it'd have to be a hypergolic combination...two containers of sub-critical 'wallops' as you so deftly put it, that when left on their own are harmless. You combine them and set off a detonator, and 'kaboom'. I think it would work just fine to blow a hole in the bulkhead of a 767? I'm no Chemist, tho...
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
15. it's not mixed on board, the press has it wrong, it's just smuggled on
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 09:24 AM by Snivi Yllom
I think the press has it wrong, the chemicals would not be combined on the plane, but pieces of the bomb, meaning, explosive, detonators, timers, whatever, would be combined on board.

The TATP would have been made at home or a safehouse, then combined in some kind of stabilizer gel/liquid for transportation. What I think the press is misreporting, is that various bombers would have had various compents such as individually carryring bottles with TATP, someone would have had the disposable camera, someone had other pieces of the bomb. It's not a case of someone carring acetone, someone carrying hydrogen pyroxide, and someone else carrying beakers on board. I don't think it's physically possible to mix the chemicals under the duration of a flight, but I could be wrong.


You would not need much TATP to bring down a pressurized aircraft from 37,000.

TATP is a frequently used homemade explosive used by the Palestinians and was also used in the London bombings last year. It's relatively easy to make, however very unstable and dangerous to handle. Many have been killed or maimed making TATP.

If you have the bombs go off midway across the ocean, you put the planes at their maximum distance from an emergency landing if you only managed to damage a plane. The longer a damaged plane is in the air, it gives any surviving terrorists more time to do more damage, or to actually let the plane fail catastrophically. TATP violently expands as it detonates. In a pressurized airplane at 37,000 feet, overpressure in a plane could really do substantial damage via explosive decompression.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=peroxide+explosive

you can get the recipe

it's the real deal

http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Briefs/4884.htm

Israeli invention detects TATP explosives
By: Israel Insider staff and partners
Published: January 27, 2005


A relatively new difficult-to-detect explosive material called triacetone-triperoxide (TATP), commonly known as acetone peroxide, is one of a group of explosives based on the unstable peroxide group of
compounds. It is increasingly being utilized by terror groups, who used it in the Dolphinarium Disco massacre, several bomb attacks in downtown Jerusalem, and the failed attempt to down a passenger plane by Muslim shoe-bomber Richard Reid.

One of the most alarming attributes of TATP is that it cannot be detected by bomb-sniffing dogs, making it easier to smuggle into airports and onto airplanes. It is also very easy to synthesize in clandestine labs, using readily available chemicals.

"To our great surprise," PET's inventor, Prof. Ehud Keinan, Dean of the Technion's Faculty of Chemistry, wrote in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, "we discovered that TATP is very different from all other conventional explosives in that it does not release heat during the explosion. It explodes by rapid decomposition of every solid-state molecule to four gas-phase molecules. This rare phenomenon, scientifically known as 'Entropic Explosion', is reminiscent of the rapid reaction that produces gas in the safety air-bags of cars during accidents."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetone_peroxide

Many people have been killed or permanently injured by accidents with acetone peroxide. It is widely used by people who want to make homemade explosives because of its low cost and ease of manufacture. They often have no idea of its extreme sensitivity, or they make it anyway solely because it's cheap and can be made in a refrigerator. There is a common myth that the only "safe" acetone peroxide is the trimer, made at low temperatures: "If one is making tricycloacetone peroxide, the temperature must be less than 10 C at all times, otherwise the product formed will be dicycloacetone peroxide, which is so unstable and sensitive that it has no uses in the field of explosives: dicycloacetone peroxide has been known to explode spontaneously." In reality, the acid-catalyzed peroxidation of acetone always produces a mixture of dimeric and trimeric forms. The trimer is the more stable form, but not much more so than the dimer. All forms of acetone peroxide are very sensitive to initiation. Organic peroxides are sensitive, dangerous explosives. The military does not use them because there are many much better alternatives. Even for people who synthesize homemade explosives, there are many far safer alternatives. Even nitroglycerin is not nearly as sensitive as acetone peroxide.

It is believed that Acetone peroxide was used as the explosive in the 7 July 2005 London bombings.<2> This however is debated by some conspiracy theorists, who believe government organisations may have synthesised such a story about use of acetone peroxide to add credibility to the official report. <3> However, it cannot be proved one way or another, and the fact still remains that this chemical compound may be used for such a purpose as terrorism.<4> It is alleged that Richard Reid (shoe bomber) was found with equipment that may have been used to cause explosions using TATP.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. TATP Is EXTREMELY Shock Sensitive
EXTREMELY. That's why it is only manufactured and handled under incredibly delicate and low volume conditions in industry.

That's my problem with this story, as someone extensively educated in chemistry. The kinds of things that would allow this story to be more than an idle threat by 24 idiots, are very difficult to make efficiently, very difficult to isolate, and very difficult to handle without blowing one's self up. I sincerely do not believe that these guys would make it to the plane with something liek TATP without self-detonating.

In addition, TATP is still a low velocity explosive. It's subsonic in detonation velocity, and does not produce an extensive overpressure wave.
The Professor
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Richard Reid had it in his shoes
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 09:33 AM by Snivi Yllom
You are right, it's very volatile, slight friction can set it off, though I have read immersing the crystals in liquids can stabilize TATP.

They also used it in the London Bombings last year.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munition...
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. When They're Immersed. . .
. . .they don't detonate. That's how the mass transport is facilitated in industry. Lots of explosive crystals are handled that way. (Most detonation initiators are crystals that can individually detonate if they are just a little too big!) In suspension, or in solution, they will not generate the molcular propogation necessary to detonate. That's why they move them around in slurries. It prevents tragic accidents in industry.

BTW: You do know that when Reid was caught, even the experts, using military detonators could not get his device to explode. It was destroyed because the detonators simply inicinerated the device. The device itself did not detonate.

The Professor
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #20
32. How'd it turn out for Richard Reid?
Oh, yeah... It didn't. :eyes:

There's one thing your precious wiki article fails to mention about explosions...

They tend to follow the path of least resistance. Reid's legs were softer than the
well insulated metal fuselage of an aircraft. If he'd been able to detonate the few
ounces of explosive in his shoes the only result would have been to launch his stupid
head into the opposite wall of the fuselage. Killing him and possibly injuring those
around him. It most likely wouldn't have brought the plane down.
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #32
46. would you want to be on a plane where this stuff went off?
I wouldn't.

The goal is not to destroy the entire plane instantly, but to penetrate the fuselage to decompress the plane, to damage it in a way that causes a crash, or to ignite the fuel tanks.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #46
50. It *wouldn't* have penetrated the fuselage.
No, I wouldn't want to sit around him...

Plastic and insulation have this strange ability to quickly dampen out the shockwave
caused by an explosion.

Also, 'rapid decompression' is a myth.
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #50
56. a myth like this
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #56
59. That was an entire cargo door...
The turbulence of the air rushing over the cargo door itself would tear the plane
apart.

It's not clear there was any effect from the so-called explosive decompression.
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slaveplanet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. I think she meant myths
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 05:07 PM by slaveplanet
like this:




a flight attendant was sucked out but this plane landed safely.
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. but if the TATP is placed in a liquid
I read elsewhere that this stabilizes it into a transportable state.
So you simply drop it into your bottle of sports drink, and it is now mobile. Once on the plane you pour it out and let the liquid evaporate, and once dry.... BOOM!
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. right
.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. Not That Easy.
You're right in prinicple. It's not that easy though. First off, when the liquid evaporates, the residual crystals have to form in the right sizes. Otherwise, the material just conflagrates, rather than detonates. This would be more like a small firecracker going off. Scary as all get out, but wouldn't bring a plane down.

Secondly, spreading it out by pouring the liquid around, is no assured way to getting the critical density needed to get all of it to go off simultaneously. So, what does go off would cause a sequential shock detonation, which would take 10 or 100 times the normal amount of time for the entire mass to "burn". This lowered velocity of burn per unit mass reduces the overpressure wave exponentially. And, the efficiency of burn is lowered as well. So, all of it wouldn't detonate, but merely combust.

This is not as "surefire" as some of the folks here think it is.
The Professor
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. who thought hijacking airliners and flying them into the WTC would be easy
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 09:55 AM by Snivi Yllom
Just because something is hard, has not deterred these people before.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. A Non-Sequitur
Without any training as a pilot, i KNOW that flying a plane into a building will cause massive damage. Knowing that a very large airplane full of kerosene would do a lot of damage is not a hard thing figure out.

Trying to detonate an explosive by pouring it on the floor is not assured to even burn, let alone detonate. That is the hard part.

Apples and oranges, my friend.
The Professor
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #33
38. what scares me is not just the capability, but the will to do it
You are questioning the capability. Short of actually making the attempt, we will never know for sure, but I think the intent was clearly there. You would not screw around making these kind of explosives unless you planned to do something with them.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #38
42. Fair Enough
The fact that people are willing to kill and die for this, surreptitiously, and without regard to the innocence of the victims, is indeed scary.

My objection has been, the whole time, that the credibility of this plot actually coming to fruition is being overhyped. I think there is a gross overreaction to this discovery and i am suspicious about the experts within the law enforcement community, because i'm not the only chemist in the world with training in explosives synthesis and their use. They have to have experts too.

And i have to believe that their experts are saying the same things as am i. They're just being ignored for the sake of PR.
The Professor
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meldroc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #18
58. Couldn't you mix the TATP on the plane?
I believe the terrorist's cunning plan was to bring hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid and acetone in Gatorade bottles or other containers (I suspect a glass perfume bottle would be required for the H2SO4).

Then they pass the ingredients to one person on the plane, mix them in the bathroom, and get TATP.

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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #58
65. You've smelled acetone, right?
It has a powerful stench, one that would waft its way through the cracks around locked restroom doors.

No way you could use this to make a bomb in a plane bathroom.
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meldroc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. Acetone's basically fingernail polish remover, correct?
The smell would be pretty bad, but I suspect most people would just think some ditz was doing her nails.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #66
71. nail polish and polish remover has always been illegal on aircraft
and flight crews are trained to smell for it and stop it being used or taking it from passengers for as long as i can remember!

fly
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slaveplanet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #15
51. yeah, but the question is
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 10:48 AM by slaveplanet
believed by whom?
It is believed that Acetone peroxide was used as the explosive in the 7 July 2005 London bombings.
Maybe by the sheeple and house of commons intelligence committee?

but not here...


The same sort of bizarre anomalies arise again in relation to accounts about the explosives. The government's narrative states that the bombings were relatively unsophisticated requiring "little expertise". The reports claim the attacks were "self-financed" with a relatively small amount of funds, and executed using easily available household ingredients in home-made bombs. The house of commons intelligence committee report says that the bombs were made from acetone peroxide also known as TATP.

But it seems that just under a year after the attacks, the government is still not a hundred percent clear about the composition of the bombs. The official account says that "it appears" the bombs were homemade from cheap, household commodities, rather than confirming the matter decisively. The report notes that forensic analysis of the bombs continues, implying that the current conclusion about their composition could change. Forensic science, however, tends to provide unambiguous answers within a matter of hours and days. The forensic examiners have surely found out all they can by now. Why does forensic analysis continue?

Indeed, the official account fails to acknowledge and does not explain why in the first week after the 7/7 terrorist attacks, intelligence officials, police officers and forensic scientists independently said that forensic examination had found "traces of military-grade C4 plastic explosive at the London Underground blast sites". Some of these sources suggest that the C4 most likely originated from jihadist networks in the Balkans. The Balkans connection, if true, raises further awkward questions regarding the international dimension of the plot. But after that week, the police said they found TATP in a bathtub in a Leeds flat linked to the bombers. Suddenly, the C4 finding was forgotten, and sources told the press that the explosives used on the London Underground and bus bombings were solely TATP. When I scrutinized the relevant reports I was dissatisfied. For instance, Janes Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, when reporting the TATP finding as late as 22nd July (about a week after the finding) said that forensic tests "had still to confirm whether TATP had indeed been found", and that further testing was still needed to get a decisive result. Meanwhile, the rest of the media was saying that TATP had definitely been found.

http://www.wbenjamin.org/antifa_archive5.html
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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
36. If you properly mix saliva & urine in the correct ratio, 3 oz is enough to
blow the smithereens out of a battleship.

BTW, I am no chemist, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night!
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #36
41. You Need To Add Pixie Dust, Though
I cannot believe you forgot the pixie dust part of that formula! :evilgrin:
The Professor
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #41
60. Pixie Dust? I thought your degree was in chemistry, not Ignorant Fairytale
Bullshit.

Pixie Dust, indeed... everyone knows Pixie dust doesn't burn or ignite worth shit, especially in the presence of urine, unless it's unicorn urine harvested on the night it was killed by a deaf troll. You gotta use a mix of dried toad's warts and crystallized Gnome snot with urine and spit.

Christ.

:eyes:
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. damn it! who told you about my enormous stockpiles of unicorn piss???
I'm going to have to drag everything to the secret bunker, and Cheney's been hogging it.
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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #36
43. If these common items in small quantities can actually produce detonation
we could use some Bryle Creme and vanilla, for example, in coal mines to blast coal loose.

There's something really strange about this entire deal. I've had chemistry through 3rd year college level, and although I've forgotten most of what I learned, I have doubts that common household items, or bodily fluids :), in small quantities could cause an explosion that would bring down an aircraft.

Some mixtures would react with each other and could cause a pressure explosion, assuming that the mix was in a sealed container. It could also cause a violent heat producing situation. Some could even cause spontaneous fires. I don't think anything available in a neighborhood store could cause an explosive detonation. The examples given on the news suggest that a couple of small bottles of something could be attached to a detonator to cause a giant explosion. I don't think so. For a detonator to be of use, the materials involved have to be flammable or shock sensitive. Toothpaste and hair gel is not going to cut it.

In the 90's a similar plot was discovered in the Philippines (I think). I maintain that if that threat was credible then, a ban on liquids taken on planes would have been put into effect long before now.

I suspect that the guy from British intelligence who infiltrated that group heard them discussing info that's available on the internet and thought he had the big Kahuna.


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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #43
45. Your Doubts Are Well Founded
I took a bit more chemistry than you (well, more than a bit), and you're recollections are essentially spot on.
The Professor
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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #45
68. Did you see this article?
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-08-10-explosiv...

Two things are of interest. Paragraph 2 quotes an FBI bomb guy saying a terrorist bomb is no guarantee of bring down a plane. He says the placement of the bomb is the determining factor. I agree to a point, but more importantly it would be the quantity of material used. I differentiate between an explosion and rapid combustion. The difference is considered to be based on the speed of the shock waves. A Molotov cocktail does not cause a detonation for instance.

Scroll down to the header "Assembly not easy."

The oxidizer has to be refined. Peroxide from a drug store would have to be distilled to greater purity or strength. It wouldn't work in the diluted form available. Again, for these ingredients to be effective in bringing down a plane, a relatively large quantity would be needed. Maybe up to a gallon!

I doubt that any of the arrestees will ever be charged. They're dead meat however if the search warrants produce quantities of the items listed as there would be no other reason to possess the stuff.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
47. Many believe a single round of pistol ammunition can bring a plane down
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 10:12 AM by slackmaster
A bullet propelled by less than a gram of a low explosive material. Haven't you heard of "Explosive Decompression", the notion that the smallest puncture of the skin of a pressurized aircraft cabin will quickly cascade into the whole plane blowing up like a toy balloon that has been pricked by a pin?

That's total BS of course (and originated from a scene in a James Bond movie), but it's interesting to see someone on the very same board that hosts numerous ED believers expressing healthy skepticism that 20 ounces of material could not be enough to create an explosion large enough to fatally damage a passenger airplane.

Tagged for interest.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. 20 Ounces of What?
That's the question. As someone with expertise in the field of explosives (as i said above, a chemist and training by A.C.E. in this specific field), i know there are materials that could create one heck of a bang at 20 ounces.

The problem is that making, isolating, handling, fabricating, and transporting these things in a surreptitious way creates a myriad of difficulties that are hardly simple to overcome.

So, my skepticism is not based upon whether something can blow a plane up. It's whether these 24 guys had the skill, knowledge, and stealth to actually carry out their silly bravado-based plans. Talking about it and doing it are two VERY different things.
The Professor
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. You make some excellent points, ProfessorGAC
Obviously there are many substances and mixtures of which 20 ounces is more than enough to fatally damage an airplane.

Talking about it and doing it are two VERY different things.

Yes, but a group of people doing something significant always begins with talking about it. Anyone who talks about doing what the alleged plot involved is either very stupid or very evil, maybe both.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #52
53. It May Always Begin With Talking About It. However. . .
. . .there is no causation. Talking about something, and carrying it out aren't correlated. Sure, before a plot can be carried out, there is the talking part. But, merely talking about it doesn't raise the threat level, and carrying it out is not the inevitable result of talking about it.

The result could very well be. . .nothing happens.
The Professor
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sistersofmercy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. I have a question
What if one substance was a liquid and the other was actually a powder or a powder substance suspended in a gel? Does that change the scenario? I remember reading about a chem lab explosion caused by, I believe, a commonly stocked powder which is routinely kept under lock and key in chem labs that when mixed with some common liquid it's combustible. Any idea? Thanks in advance for your response.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. You Would Still Need To, I Would Think. . .
. . .remove the suspended solid. But, yes that is possible.

Of course, now you are talking about having to do an extraction and formulation while on a plane. And, you'd have to have more than one bottle. And, you'd have to mix it to the right ratio, where i'm quite sure there are no balances or mass flow meters!

Look; anything is possible with enough knowledge, time, and the right equipment. Contact lens bottles, toothpaste tubes, and magazines are NOT the right equipment, and under that pressure and with time of the essence, much of this seems highly unlikely.
The Professor
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sistersofmercy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. Thanks n/t
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