Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

A detailed chemical kinetic mechanism for gas phase combustion of 2,4,6-tri-nitrotoluene (TNT) has been developed to explore problems of explosive performance and of soot formation during the destruction of munitions. Thermodynamic properties of intermediate and radical species are estimated by group additivity. Reactions for the decomposition and oxidation of TNT and its intermediate products are assembled based on information from the literature and from analogous reactions where the rate constants are available. The resulting detailed reaction mechanism for TNT is added to existing reaction mechanisms for RDX and for hydrocarbons which can be produced from TNT and RDX. Properties of the reaction mechanism are demonstrated by examining problems of soot formation during open burning of TNT and mixtures of TNT and RDX. Computed results show how addition of oxygen to TNT can reduce the amounts of soot formed in its combustion and why RDX and most mixtures of RDX and TNT do not produce soot during their combustion or incineration.

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Reference for mechanism

W. J. Pitz and C. K. Westbrook, "A detailed chemical kinetic model for gas phase combustion of TNT," Proc. Combust. Inst. 31 (2) (2007) 2343-2351.