Breakthrough for Alternative Explosives
First hydrogen peroxide-based emulsion detonation a success at recent explosives trials
Mining3 achieved a significant milestone this month with the successful detonation of a world first* hydrogen peroxide-based emulsion explosive. Using proprietary formulations, a series of trial blasts, confirmed its ability to detonate, and provided early steps into the characterisation of this improved product. The new formulation is a major achievement in superseding water-gel/hydrogel formulations and a crucial advancement in product stability and sleep-time.
Gums and emulsifiers, are the binding agents in water-gel and emulsions, respectively. Importantly, gums have a low-level organic contamination which leads to hydrogen peroxide degradation and limited current water-gel technology for manufacture-and-immediate-detonation applications. With synthetically produced emulsifiers the material can be inert-to-hydrogen peroxide, lengthening the product stability to a significant period and enabling broader applications in the mining industry.
Considerable effort has been invested in the pursuit of compatible emulsifiers. With recent successes in detonation trials it has made the past year of research worthwhile. Not only do we have a formulation with advanced oxidiser/fuel intimacy but also considerable advances in stability. Manufacture techniques, have also maintained the ambient temperature methodology that gives the hydrogen peroxide-based explosives technology a distinct advantage in production cost.
Over five days at RUREX, Australia’s only professional independent detonation testing range, upwards of sixty detonation tests were fired. Several other formulations were tested that will advance in the technology pipeline, but it is the confirmation of emulsion tests that was the most immediate success. This research has been supported by ACARP from its inception and transfer of this technology to the industry is eagerly anticipated.
“These blasts have confirmed that we are pursuing the right pathway forward,” states Dr. Kettle, Senior Experimental Scientist and project executor. “We have invigorated enthusiasm going forward to further characterise the new emulsions in preparation for mine-site trials in 2020. We are indebted, of course, to the ongoing support of ACARP and RUREX, and the vision of Mining3.”
*Based on international literature review