Spontaneous Ignition of Gaseous Hydrogen Azide

Abstract

HYDROGEN azide is an extremely unstable and endothermic compound, and even in the absence of oxygen it may detonate violently. Nitrogen, hydrogen and ammonia are its decomposition products, and stoichiometrically decomposition must lie between the extremes of equations (1) and (2). Experimentally, it is found that the slow thermal decomposition of gaseous hydrogen azide is heterogeneous1 and follows equation (2), yielding mainly ammonia, while the rapid, explosive decomposition initiated by sparking2 follows equation (1), yielding no ammonia:

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GRAY, P., WADDINGTON, T. Spontaneous Ignition of Gaseous Hydrogen Azide. Nature 179, 576–577 (1957). https://doi.org/10.1038/179576a0

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