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Old Apr 30 2015, 11:40 PM   #81
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Default Re: Agenothree (HNO3, nitric acid)

In wikipedia, it says that Nitric Acid is used industrially as a fertilizer by being neutralized with ammonia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitric_acid

In most of the pern books, agenothree is mentioned as being used in actual flamethrowers. DD mentions that it can be made pretty "cheaply" with air and water using hydroelectricity, and that using a wet cloth on a spill within 20 seconds could keep it from burning too badly. Interestingly enough, they mention that using HNO3 on Thread would be like using both fire and water on it. https://books.google.com/books?id=KE...q=hno3&f=false

Doesn't the Master Smithhall have waterwheels? And since Fandarel knew enough chemistry to make a wet battery with Sulfuric Acid, and he says they already used Nitric Acid it to etch designs into knives, they must have had some way to produce it, right?

The Pern Encyclopedia (http://www.pern.nl/pe/H_table.html) has this to say about it:
HNO3: see also Agenothree. an acid which destroys Thread, and which is easy to produce from scratch.

HNO3 cylinders: In the Second Pass HNO3 cylinders were made by the engineer corp (as they had during the First Pass). Labor and material were supplied as part of their public duty. Each Hold and Weyr had an allotment of tanks, the HNO3 would have to be made on site [RSR/1:48]. During the Winter of 257 Head Engineer Kalvi demonstrated to those who would form the Fort Weyr ground crews how to use and service HNO3 cylinders. The demonstration was held some distance up the North Road from the Hold, where there were neither beasts nor cotholds [RSR/7:188, 192]. The apparatus had an adjustable wand that could give a long and narrow tongue of fire or a broader, shorter flame. Users had to wear a hard hat with a face screen. The effective range was six meters on the narrowest setting, two on the broader [RSR/7:189]. It had two tanks in which the separate gasses were contained [RSR/7:190].
That mentions two tanks used... But DD and Moreta seem to imply that they only had one tank. Earth flamethrowers normally have two tanks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamethrower), so maybe it was a big tank with some kind of divider in the middle to keep the chemicals/gases separate?

Also, Pern wiki mentions that in Dragonheart,"the old firestone" (flamestone, which was mistaken for proper firestone during the Second Interval-Third Pass, unstable and exploded if it got wet) was being used in flamethrowers. Could firestone be the other ingredient? Dragons digest firestone, and Nitric Acid is pretty corrosive so... maybe?


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Old Oct 3 2017, 09:19 PM   #82
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Default Re: Science of Pern

I have found out what the 'missing' ingredient for agenothree is. Peroxide. Add peroxide to hno3 and you have what is called a hypergloic mixture. It will self ignite and burn readily, it is easily within the technology levels of even the lowest levels. The Germans in WWII had a similar mixture for the rocket aircraft, but much more toxic.
I hope that clears up the recipe for flamethrowers..
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Old Feb 29 2020, 12:20 AM   #83
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Default Re: Agenothree (HNO3, nitric acid)

I asked a friend about this whose father was a chemist. She said the agenothree tanks can be 2 cylinders (ceramic as to not react with metal), one with nitric acid and the other turpentine by using trees. Trees can be tapped sort of like for rubber or syrup, but images I've seen show more hacking into the bark, so I wonder if it killed the tree after the process.
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