How Liquid explosives work?
Nitric acid and glycerin can also be combined to create an explosive.india Updated: Aug 16, 2006 15:11 IST
Q: What is a liquid explosive?
A: The most common is nitroglycerin, a key ingredient in dynamite. Another is triacetone triperoxide (TATP). Nitric acid and glycerin can also be combined to create an explosive.
Q: How do liquid explosives work?
A: Liquid explosive is a chemical compound that is relatively unstable due to its state of matter. A physical, chemical, or electrical jolt causes it to explode, usually producing a fair amount of heat, light and a destructive shock wave (a very rapid change in air or water pressure).
Like solid explosives, liquid explosives vary in power, depending on their recipe and how they are packed into a container.
Q: Why liquid explosives?
A: Security screeners have gotten much better at detecting solid explosives, while liquid explosives have proven much harder to detect. They're a real threat to airlines.
In addition, liquid explosives can be made from fairly common ingredients, including substances typically found in your garage or under your sink.
A terrorist could assemble an explosive from components carried aboard a plane in separate containers or by different people -- making it even harder for screeners to spot.
One person could carry ingredient A on to the plane, another ingredient B, and then they could be combined.
On the flipside…
Like many homemade explosives, they can be very volatile.
Some can be set off by a stray spark, a change in temperature, exposure to sunlight, or even an accidental bump.
(with inputs from National Public Radio)