Navigation Links
Brewing a blast-less fertilizer
Date:11/21/2007

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 technology :

1. Brewing a blast-less fertilizer
2. Discas, Inc. Sells Shares to SNX Organic Fertilizers, Inc.
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Brewing a blast-less fertilizer
(Date:2/4/2016)... Massachusetts , February 4, 2016 - New FDA ... - New FDA action date of July 22, ... of July 22, 2016   - ... U.S. in the past decade indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms ... Lifitegrast has the potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments will showcase ... demos and poster sessions, and present on the analysis of mycotoxins and medical ... 6 to 10 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 Beike Biotechnology, the Shenzhen ... a ceremony in late 2015 to mark their successful ... 2016. --> --> ... Personalized Cell Therapy" was hosted by the Shenzhen Cell ... subsidiaries of Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... PARK, Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016   DelMar ... biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new ... 18 th Annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference ... in New York, NY . ... an update on the ongoing clinical trial of VAL-083 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors ... Rising Market Are you interested in the ... revenues for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those ... product and national level. Avoid falling behind ... progress, opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies ...
(Date:2/1/2016)...  Today, the first day of American Heart Month, ... a first of its kind workplace health solution that ... the first application of Watson ... and Welltok will create a new offering that combines ... delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The effort is ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... 2016  Glencoe Software, the world-leading supplier of image ... will provide the data management solution OMERO Plus for ... Photo - ... Phenotypic analysis measures the characteristics and behavior ... between states such as health and disease, the presence ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):