Blogging a crystal structure a day in 2014


Contributed by

Helen Maynard-Casely

This is rocket science – ammonium perchlorate

What does it look like?

What is it?

Though, when solid, this material is just a while powder, it is powerful enough to fuel rockets. Ammonia perchlorate forms the basis of a whole class of solid rocket fuels, known as ammonia perchlorate composite propellant (APCP). It can be molded and tightly packed into boosters and when ignited is a very powerful oxidiser, which is why it is so successful in this application. As a crystal structure it's actually a salt, as it is made up of tetragonal ClO4- anions balancing with NH4+ cations.

Where did the structure come from?

The structure of ammonium perchlorate was determined by Peyronel and Pignedoli in 1975.

Tags: explosive   salt   molecular