Navigation Links
Brewing a blast-less fertilizer
Date:9/5/2007

Down in the green, rolling hills and farmlands around Lexington, Kentucky, Darrell Taulbee can be found mixing up a batch of his homegrown fertilizer. But hes not looking to grow a better Big Boy or distill a smoother bourbon, he tells us. Funded by the University of Kentucky and the Homeland Securitys Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), Taulbee sets his sights on something far more sinister.

Darrell Taulbee putters with this stuff to make sure another Oklahoma bombing never happens again.

It was common fertilizer that Timothy McVeigh used to build the ferocious bomb that ripped into the Murrah Building, killing 167 innocent men, women, and especially children. Mixing ammonium nitrate with hate and fuel oil, McVeigh brought us a homegrown brand of terrorism and a raw grief from which we still reel.

Ammonium nitrate (AN) is a fertilizer used to create bumper crops. But, when combined with fuel oil (FO) it becomes ANFO, an explosive mixture of terrifying potential. The United States produces and imports millions of tons of it every year.

Taulbee is looking for ways to to reduce the destructive power of AN. He is eyeing coal combustion by-productsfly ash from electric power plants (120 million tons are produced yearly at coal-burning power plants)to make AN less deadly. He coats AN pellets with fly-ash, packs them into metal canisters, and takes them deep into the Kentucky hills. There he blows them up.

Taulbee is methodical. With Tom Thurman, a retired bomb-scene investigator for the FBI now at Eastern Kentucky University, he learned that a mix of 20 percent coal ash to 80 percent AN keeps an explosion from burning all its fuel. This renders a blast far less violent.

There are no commercially available options totally effective in preventing ammonium nitrate from being used as an explosive, Taulbee points out, Coal ash wont stop the blast from initiating, but it will stop it from propagating. Whats more, he adds, the ash is classified as non-toxic by the EPA and may have some beneficial effects for crops. Its inexpensive and coats easily onto AN particles, forming a hard outer layer difficult to remove.

Future research will include confirmation of Taulbees results by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the New Mexico Institute of Technology and/or the FBI. There will also be more extensive evaluations of the potential impacts on agriculture.

Mike Matthews oversees Taulbees research for S&T. He says, If Taulbee can eliminate much of the McVeigh factor in ammonium nitrate fertilizers, hell go a long way in helping to contain the threat of these homegrown fertilizer bombs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Gail Cleere
gail.cleere@dhs.gov
202-254-5691
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New research indicates a troubled greenhouse is brewing
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/12/2017)... , Jan. 12, 2017  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... (ctDNA) technologies, today announced that it has signed agreements ... and the Middle East ... milestone marks the first wave of international distribution agreements ... and blood samples. The initial partners will ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... , January 12, 2017 A new report by Allied Market ... the global biometric technology market is expected to generate revenue of $10.72 billion by ... Continue Reading ... Allied Market Research Logo ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140911/647229) ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... 2017  Michael Johnson, co-founder of Visikol Inc. a company originally ... been named to the elite "Forbes 30 Under 30" list in ... people in 20 fields nationwide to be recognized as a leader ... were selected. ... is currently a PhD candidate at Rutgers University. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the ZEM5310 USB 3.0 FPGA ... FPGA into a compact business-card sized form factor suitable for prototyping, testing, and ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Executive search firm Slone Partners proudly supports ... the advancement of the clinical trials segment. Hosted in Miami, this conference brings ... and management. , As executive talent specialists in the industries central to ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Researchers from a new study are stating that if ... after prostate cancer treatment, this indicates there is still remaining prostate cancer cells that are ... The PSA test has always been an indicator of whether a man’s prostate cancer ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 2017 Shareholder rights law firm Johnson & ... board members of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the proposed sale of the Company to Eli Lilly ... small molecules for the acute treatment of migraines. ... signed a definitive merger agreement with Eli Lilly. Under ...
Breaking Biology Technology: