DDNP is a primary explosive used in the fabrication of detonators (Section VI, No. 13). It is to be used with a booster explosive such as picric acid (Section I, No. 21) or RDX (Section I, No. 15).


  • Picric acid
  • Flowers of sulfur
  • Lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • Sulfuric acid, diluted
  • Potassium or sodium nitrite
  • Water
  • 2 glass cups, heat resistant, (Pyrex)
  • Stirring rod (glass or wood)
  • Improvised scale
  • Paper towels
  • Teaspoon
  • Tablespoon
  • Eyedropper
  • Heat source
  • Containers
  • Tape


  • Section I, No. 21
  • Motor vehicle batteries
  • Section I, No. 18
  • Section VII, No. 8


1. In one of the glass cups, mix 1/2 gram of lye with 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of warm water.

2. Dissolve 1 teaspoon (3 grams) of picric acid in the water-lye solution. Store until ready for step 5.

3. Place 1/4 teaspoon (1 milliliter) of water in the other glass cup, Add 1/2 teaspoon (2-1/2 grams) of sulfur and 1/3 teaspoon (2-1/2 grams) of lye to the water.

4. Boil solution over heat source until color turns dark red. Remove and allow solution to cool.

5. In three portions, add this sulfur-lye solution to the picric acid-lye solution (Step 2); stir while pouring. Allow mixture to cool.

6. Filter the mixture through a paper towel into a container. Small red particles will collect on the paper. Discard the liquid in the container.

7. Dissolve the red particles in 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of boiling water.

8. Remove and filter the mixture through a paper towel as in step 6. Discard the particles left on the paper.

9. Using an eyedropper, slowly add the sulfuric acid to the filtered solution until it turns orange-brown.

10. Add 1/2 teaspoon (2-1/2 grams) more of sulfuric acid to the solution. Allow the solution to cool to room temperature.

11. In a separate container, dissolve 1/4 teaspoon (1.8 grams) of potassium or sodium nitrite in 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) of water.

12. Add this solution in one portion, while stirring, to the orange-brown solution. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes. The mixture will turn light brown.

CAUTION: At this point the mixture is a primary explosive. Keep away from flame.

13. Filter the mixture through a paper towel. Wash the particles left on the paper with 4 teaspoons (20 milliliters) of water.

14. Allow the particles to dry (approx. 16 hours).

CAUTION: Explosive is shock and flame sensitive. Store explosive in a capped container.

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