PETN: What you need to know about this deadly explosive
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Friday that the explosives recovered from the state Legislative Assembly were the powerful and versatile PETN. A preferred weapon of mass destruction for terrorists, here’s what you need to know about the explosive:
- What is it?Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, is a highly explosive organic compound belonging to the same chemical family as nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose.
- Unsurpassed potencyIt is a sensitive compound and is easily detonated by an appropriate mechanical shock and is one of the most powerful explosive materials known.
- OriginPETN was first prepared and patented in 1894 by the explosives manufacturer Rheinisch-Westfalische Sprengstoff in Germany. It was introduced as a commercial explosive after World War I.
- UsageThe deadly explosive is valued in both military and civilian applications for its shattering force and efficiency. Mixed with the extremely powerful compound RDX in an appropriate solvent, PETN forms a plastic explosive mixture known as Semtex.
- Versatile weaponPETN is a valued weapon in terrorist bombings, because of its explosive power, its ability to be moulded and fitted into unusual packages, and the difficulty of detecting the organic compound with X-ray and other conventional equipment.
Source: Times Of India