Any explosive experts here?


Authorities are blaming the huge explosion in Beirut on improperly stored ammonium nitrate fertilizer set off by an careless welder.

I once looked into using AM to open some ponds in the Louisiana marsh, and it had to be mixed with fuel oil about 1 part to 3 parts. And then you needed dynamite to set it off, so I am skeptical of that explanation.

On the videos, it looked a lot like a fuel/air explosion to me.

Anyone with an informed opinion?

15 thoughts on “Any explosive experts here?

    1. Good information in the CNN article. Saw something similar on another site. Video and witnesses said there were two explosions. One less powerful followed by the big one. Watching the video that USA Today had,,,,, after the first explosion there appears to be multiple flashes of light along with fire and then the whole thing blew. I’m not a chemist but I wonder how stable the stuff is when one stores 2750 tons of it for 6 years in a warehouse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Iā€™m not a chemist but I wonder how stable the stuff is when one stores 2750 tons of it for 6 years in a warehouse.”

        Same thing that happens in Texas, Nevada, St. Louis, and dozens of other places here with improper storage. What’s scary is you don’t know what XYZ Inc., is storing in that metal building 1/4 mile from your house. Or, for that matter, what your neighbors have in the garage.

        Same thing happened in West, Texas. Right next to the high school.

        Hey, is Smith Douglas still in Chesapeake?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ammonium nitrate is an oxidizer. It can’t do anything by itself. For an explosion it has to be mixed with a fuel of some type,

        The Daisy Cutter bombs used to create landing zones in the jungles of Vietnam were Ammonium nitrate mixed with aluminum powder and liquid polystyrene.

        Looking at the Beirut video, it appears there is a grain elevator adjacent to the warehouse. An interaction between the ammonium nitrate and grain dust might be an explanation.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. None of us are experts, but we keep speculating.

          According to reporting, including video, there was a smaller fire adjacent to the storage site. Cause of that fire was not known the last time I looked.

          The government gave investigators 4 days to determine “wha happend”. Guess we’ll know something by Sunday or Monday.


  1. Without regard to the loss of life, it was a spectacular explosion. You could see the shock wave condense the moisture right out of the air. That’s the Initial cloud you see expanding out and up from the center.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After viewing a few video’s while the warehouse was already on fire…
    you could see several small explosions (likely 50 gal drums cooking off). Then comes the big KA-BOOM.

    I’m thinking this was not intentional.

    Liked by 2 people

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