The Chemistry of Thermite

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The Chemistry of Thermite

  1. 1. By: Grant Smith
  2. 2. • Thermite is the product of an aluminum metal and iron oxide reaction atan extreme temperature.• Thermite has a wide variety of uses in the world today.• It is mainly used for welding and incendiary bombs.• During the WWII thermite was used by the United States military inincendiary bombs.• Today the military still uses thermite in grenades which can burn througharmor with easeSummary
  3. 3. • A thermite reaction can’t be put out byanything.• Because of the intense heat of thereaction itself, thermite will burnunderwater.• It has been at the center of manyconspiracies.• It was speculated that thermite couldhave been the cause of theHindenburg disaster in 1937.• Conspiracy theorists have alsospeculated that controlled thermitedemolition bombs were the cause ofthe 9-11 terror attacks.Summary
  4. 4. • “Thermite is a generic name given to high-temperature reactionsbetween certain metal oxides and aluminum (Tinnesand 14).”• The thermite reaction is an exothermic, single replacementcombustion reaction.• The chemical formula for the thermite reaction is Fe2O3 + 2Al →Al2O3 + 2Fe + heat.• The change in enthalpy is about -850 kJ/mol• In this reaction iron oxide and aluminum metal react with each otherto produce aluminum oxide, an elemental iron, and heat.Chemistry
  5. 5. • Other metals such as chromium oxide and copper oxide are alsoused.• Iron is more reactive with the aluminum.• In order to achieve the temperatures necessary to begin the reaction,magnesium ribbons (Mg) or potassium permanganate (KMnO4) +Glycerin.• When the metals are ignited they reach temperatures as high as3000 C which is about 5432 F.• Thermite gives off enough energy to sustain itself.• This intense heat causes the metals aluminum and iron oxide to meltdown to a molten liquid state.Chemistry
  6. 6. • Other metals such as chromium oxideand copper oxide are also used.• Iron is more reactive with thealuminum.• In order to achieve the temperaturesnecessary to begin the reaction,magnesium ribbons (Mg) or potassiumpermanganate (KMnO4) + Glycerin.• When the metals are ignited they reachtemperatures as high as 3000 C whichis about 5432 F.• Thermite gives off enough energy tosustain itself.• This intense heat causes the metalsaluminum and iron oxide to melt downto a molten liquid state.Chemistry
  7. 7. • Thermite is important to our lives because it has literally built thiscountry.• Without it welding would be near impossible.• Skyscrapers could not have been built without thermite.• Thermite has and will continue to be used as a weapon to protect oursoldiers fighting abroad who are defending freedom.Implications
  8. 8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8XSmSdvEK4
  9. 9. Chemistry Daily. N.p., 4 Jan. 2007. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.<http://www.chemistrydaily.com/chemistry/Thermite>.Tinnesand, Michael. "MightyThermite." ChemMatters Feb. 2002: 14-15. PrintAbout.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.<http://usmilitary.about.com/od/weapons/a/thermite.htm>Ask theTA. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.<http://www.askthetachemistryhelp.com/thermite.html>."Thermite." Amazing Rust. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.http://web.archive.org/web/20110707122310/amazingrust.com/experiments/how_to/Thermite.htmlWorks Cited

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