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Pure fulminate is white, but the commercial material is often grayish in color. The color is improved if a small amount of cupric chloride is added to the nitric acid solution of mercury before it is poured into the alcohol in the balloon, but the resulting white fulminate is actually less pure than the unbleached material.

Preparation of Merevry Fulminate. Five grams of mercury is added to 35 cc. of nitric acid (specific gravity 1.42) in a 100-cc. Erlenmeycr

Preparation of Merevry Fulminate. Five grams of mercury is added to 35 cc. of nitric acid (specific gravity 1.42) in a 100-cc. Erlenmeycr

Figure 93. Fulminate Manufacture. (Courtesy Atlas Powder Company.) At left, flasks in which mercury is dissolved in nitric acid. At right, balloons in which the reaction with alcohol occurs.

llask, and the mixture is allowed to stand without shaking until the mercury has gone into solution. The acid liquid is then poured into 50 cc. of 00Çc alcohol in a 500-ec. leaker in the hood. The temperature of the mixture rises, a vigorous reaction commences, white fumes come off, and crystals of fulminate soon begin to precipitate. Red fumes appear and the précipitation of the fulminate becomes more rapid, then white fumes again as the reaction moderates. After about 20 minutes the reaction is over; water is added, and the crystals are washed with water repeatedly by décantation until the washings are no longer acid to litmus. The product consists of grayish-yellow crystals, and corresponds to a good grade of commercial fulminate. It may be obtained white and entirely pure by dissolving in strong ammonia

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