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Sophisticated triggering sequence and compressed oxygen ?[edit]

I am very interested in the details of the Oklahoma city Bomb, it seems it was extremly powerful for it's size. A yield of 4000 lb. TNT, from 5000 lb of Fertilezer and Nitro. The following from the ANFO page is not mentioned anywhere else:

So called "fertilizer bombs" were made famous in America by their use in the Oklahoma City bombing which maimed and killed hundreds of victims. However, that bomb was only remotely based on the traditional ANFO formula. It used a sophisticated triggering sequence and compressed oxygen to achieve a larger detonation than is possible using mundane means.

I would like a source for this as, I always check sources, before i quote them.

z1robbbie —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:25, 27 March 2004

As for its use in Oklahoma, I've read articles suggest other explosives were used inside the building and that ANFO contributed very little damage to the structure and devastation over all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BloodMagus (talkcontribs) 07:24, 12 November 2004


non-sense is going on here - ANFO cannot be a low-explosive and a high-explosive as stated in the last line. as i understand, ANFO is a high-explosive since it exploding as a result of a detonation, which means the molecules is torn apart, releasing huge amounts of energy. low-explosives are based on combustion, e.g. gun-powder.

maasha —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:40, 11 August 2004

maasha I think you are right ANFO can is a high explosive and is not and never could be a low explosive although I think that an explosive is considered a high explosive if when the explosive detonates in quantites of about 1g and without being in a contanied the sound wave will move faster than the speed of sound although I think also that the molecules are torn apart as well. Bur372 16:15, 30 October 2004 (UTC)[reply]
Molecules are torn apart in both detonation and deflagration. christidy —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:04, 10 March 2005
The statements that suggests ANFO can be both low yield and high yield are in fact accurate. When ignited, ANFO has a low yield and as such will burn, albeit rapidly, but not explode under normal conditions.

Its considered to be a serious fire risk due to the difficulties in putting it out, as such ANFO is generally prepared only on need of use. I don't know of any 'low yield' uses of ANFO in industry.

When detonated by the molecular breakdown due to a shockwave, such as setting off a significant amount of TNT, it acts as a very high yield explosive. This is the primary use of ANFO in industry. ANFO is usually prepared as a mixture with a rating based on how many grams of TNT is needed per kg of ANFO for a complete detonation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BloodMagus (talkcontribs) 07:24, 12 November 2004

Benefits in mining[edit]

First benefit of using water oil Ammonianitrate mixtures in underground mining is that the water cools down the explosion gas which than nowlonger able to ignite methane in the pit.

Second you can not ignite the slurry explosives so even with a small explosion in the pit you have no problem with it.

Third easy to handle it can be pumped into the holes in exact the ammount you need.

Fourth the oxygen balance is better than of most other explosives and you can change it easyly by changing the mixture. Nearly no NO CO is produced by this explosives which is a big benefit for the air quality in the pit.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Stone (talkcontribs) 14:48, 10 November 2004


I'm confused. What exactly is inaccurate about this article? - Ta bu shi da yu 08:52, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Conflicting facts with no sources quoted to clear up the conflict. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:56, 21 January 2005
This article should be cleaned up. By the way, how do you get to Pages on Vote for Deletion? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Endi (talkcontribs) 16:49, 31 March 2005


I recently (apr 14/2005) made a major edit... almost a total rewrite of the article. I removed the "disputed" banner; hopefully it doesn't apply anymore.

I haven't cited any sources because most of my information comes from a course I have recently taken on blasting for mining applications. I am a student of mine engineering at a Canadian university, and while I don't consider myself an expert on explosives, I felt I could contribute an article of a higher standard than the previous one.

I have focused on the technical details of the explosive, and less on the terrorist uses of ANFO. I don't think that sort of thing deserves more than a cursory mention in this article. I've also put the use of ANFO into proper context - it is the most prevalent explosive in the world, rather than a terrorist weapon first, a stump blasting tool second, and a mining explosive third.

I welcome any comments. --D —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:26, 15 April 2005

Okay, here's a comment: You don't use proper nomenclature. Scary to think that you took a course on blasting but didn't take proper notes. Did you pass the class? Sheesh. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:36, 4 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Percentages do not add up[edit]

"96.3% AN and 5.7% FO" = 102% —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:00, 16 April 2005

Fixed this. The original source of my info just said 5.7% fuel, and I subtracted that from 100 mentally. Apparently I should brush up on my first grade arithmetic. --D —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:43, 27 May 2005


Sorry to sound like a dummy, but I read that article once, and I'm not sure if i missed it, but I dont think it says if ANFO is a solid, or liquid, or plastic or whatever. It would be good if someone could make it clearer. Thankyou for reading this —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:28, 27 November 2006

section needed[edit]

why is there not a section on how it is made, ie mixing levels and such? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 6 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

That information can be found under Chemistry. If you want to know how to make Ammonium Nitrate, check its article page (I believe urinating in a chlorine solution creates Ammonia) User:Gazok (talk)

TNT equivalences[edit]

This article needs citations on most of the TNT equivalents. I am having a very hard time understanding how ANFO based explosives can have an REF (TNT equivalence) of .8 to 1.6. My reference (field manual 5-250 explosives and demolition) has an REF of .42 for commercially manufactured ANFO. 0.8 Is high, and 1.6 is in the realm of Semtex and PETN based plastic explosives. Unless there are citations I am going to have to assume that significant sections of this article are factually inaccurate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 29 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Have added tags to these problems to the article; assuming that the current listed TNT equivalences are improperly quoted, why not add your referenced info and correct the article? Yaf (talk) 05:57, 29 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

RE factors can vary according to how much the explosive compound is compacted. This is measure in chemical density g/cm3. I.e. the higher the density of the compound when compacted, the higher the RE factor will become. This is why AN can vary in it's RE factor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:31, 10 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]


I added an article on ANNM. I hope it helps. Incredibleman007 (talk) 09:05, 4 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Nonsense units[edit]

What is this "two quarts per 50 pounds" nonsense? I realize it apparently comes from some external source, but it still doesn't make any sense. Sounds like it is written by some of the many people who aren't really sure how many quarts there are in a gallon; sensible people would say something like 1 gallon per 100 pounds, especially since NOBODY anywhere in the world ever buys fuel oil by the "quart", and using a more round number than 50 pounds. Gene Nygaard (talk) 23:01, 15 November 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Nonsense units indeed. It would be nice to change this to SI measurements, e.g. ~ 2l / 22Kg. Though to convert, we need to know if it's 2 American quarts or 2 British quarts. (talk) 00:28, 5 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Ammonium nitrate in the US is often purchased in 50 lb bags now being supplanted by 55.12 lb bags (25 kg).--Weetoddid (talk) 00:35, 5 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

As part of my edits, I've removed the quarts / pounds discussion. The overwhelming majority of ANFO is used in the mining industry, where it's dispensed as a bulk product by specialized trucks with computer-controlled fuel metering. I think it's sufficient to provide the stoichiometric ratio; we needn't clutter the article with a bucket-scale recipe. Syncrotic (talk) 09:17, 27 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

No Information Given on Ammonia Dynamites[edit]

ANNM - 60:40 by weight?[edit]

I have calculated with the help of the formular 3NH4NO3 + 2CH3NO2 -> 4N2 + 2CO2 + 9H2O the weight from the NH4NO3 and CH3NO2 needed. It results: 3 x 80.04g/mol = 240.12 (240.12 / 362.2g x 100) = 66 2 x 61.04g/mol = 122.08 (122.08 / 362.2g x 100) = 34

It results a ANNM composition of 66:34, but in the wikipedia article is writting that's 60:40. I have searched by google: i have found that the composition of the ANNM is mostly 75:25. What's right now? Is the indicated formular wrong? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 16 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I made the same calculation with the same result. This may not be an error - an excess of nitromethane may give the best effect - but if so I would like to see an authoritative reference. FredV (talk) 09:52, 2 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

1) NOx formation isn't the result of impurities in the explosive.

2) Nitromethane is not the sole constituent of the liquid phase of Kinepak. Adding enough NM to AN to obtain a zero oxygen balance would compromise sensitivity. For this reason a fuel like xylene is added. Oxygen balance is thus achieved without incurring a critical loss of sensitivity.

It is worth noting that in the early days of high explosives, experimenters were often too preoccupied with oxygen balance. This same preoccupation often occurs today among neophytes. For most applications, there are several factors of greater import.

Fuel oil?[edit]

Why isn't it stated clearly that AN is an 'OXIDIZER' and that the fuel oil is the 'FUEL'.

Can wikipidia be a little more user friendly.-- (talk) 07:26, 2 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]


I have removed the extraordinary claim "However, an increase in the density of the mix can correspondingly increase ANFO's sensitivity. For this reason it is not always necessary to use High Explosives to detonate ANFO mixes." as this runs contrary to conventional explosive theory and common sense and was added by an IP user with no references. Ambix (talk) 17:14, 3 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The IP user was semi-right in two ways - first an increase in density can increase the sensitivity of ANFO, and second, well eg see AN explosions like West Texas and Beirut, without the FO. These tend to be large explosions where AN has mixed with some fuel and a fire and firefighting water has increased the density. There are no boosters involved, though the DDT might be helped by eg water/hot AN flashing to steam.
Note that increasing the density of ANFO does not always increase sensitivity, that depends on a lot of factors like crystal size, dispersion and mixing, and so on. - sometimes it can have the opposite effect. (talk) 13:44, 3 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Recreational users?[edit]

  • ANNM is sometimes referred to as "poor man's RDX" because it has a similar RE factor to RDX when mixed correctly and it is much cheaper and easier to obtain. ANNM is also more sensitive to shock than standard ANFO and is therefore easier to detonate. These factors, plus its higher destructive power make it a popular explosive among recreational users.

"Recreational users" of high explosives? Is this verifiable? Can we explain what form this recreation takes?   Will Beback  talk  22:28, 28 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Explosive velocity[edit]

WHY YOU NOT mention the Explosive velocity?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 17 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Glad that using agricultural fertilizer was written off. Mentioning OK Bombing however is no longer valid since the Elgin Blast Effects Study which confirms expert opinion - ie no air blast of any size could have caused the damage that actually occured. Agr fertilizer is not AN, it has a small amount of AN ( but a different variety - not explosive grade) but an insignificant amount - but even if it had the power of a nuclear bomb it couldn't have been the explosive used in the OK Bombing. (talk) 13:48, 12 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

You must be full of it. Even a tactical nuke would have flattened downtown Oklahoma. (talk) 12:23, 20 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Consistance of lable ANFO or AN/FO[edit]

Throughout the article, both the name ANFO and AN/FO is used. While both are valid names as discussed in the introduction of this article, should one version be used rather than the other? Sire TRM (talk) 14:08, 22 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Danger of abuse[edit]

Why was this reinstatement made? Surely it was right for User:Biotechscientist to remove this, for obvious reasons (see 2011 Norway attacks). AWhiteC (talk) 09:19, 25 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

How, exactly, is removing that section going to prevent such terrorist attacks in the future? – IVAN3MAN (talk) 01:16, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
It isn't going to prevent them; it is just going to make them more difficult. Are you in favour of making it unnecessarily easy? AWhiteC (talk) 09:53, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Agree with AWhiteC - Wikipedia should not be a terrorist manual, or, indeed, a manual of any kind ( ). Perhaps you would like to set up a separate page dedicated to the preparation of this explosive and see how long it lasts? FOARP (talk) 13:18, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia is not censored and “I don't like it” is not a valid rationale for removing information from an article. Even if the information in question was a step by step recipe for making a bomb (it's not; it's basic information on a chemical compound), the only valid rationale for its removal would be that Wikipedia is not a manual or textbook. As it is the text merely fulfills Wikipedia's mission: it is properly sourced information about a chemical compound that is much used in demolishion, agriculture, and mining. Incidentally, this information—and much more detailed information to boot—is widely available in books, magazines, on the Internet, and in basic chemistry textbooks. No terrorist will be in the slightest inconvenienced by Wikipedia purposefully dumbing down and removing information from its articles.
PS. AWhiteC, you may want to see Have you stopped beating your wife --Xover (talk) 13:40, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I concur with Xover; the information in question, in the article, is no more informative than the list of ingredients that one finds on a packet of biscuits/cookies at the local grocery store. – IVAN3MAN (talk) 14:41, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
The information given is not a chemical compound, it is a recipe - it does not list a chemical make up, but instead says how to mix it - this is the difference FOARP (talk) 15:21, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Xover and IVAN3MAN, Wikipedia is the first place the world looks at for information. It should therefore set an example for the rest of the Internet by restricting information that could only be useful to mischievous youngsters (oh, and terrorists, but they will get the information anyway). Is it legal in developed-country jurisdictions to publish information valuable to terrorists (such as the text removed here by Biotechscientist but subsequently reinstated by IVAN3MAN)? The Internet will be more harshly censored one day than it is now – probably too harshly. It would therefore be advisable to drop the extreme libertarianism right now, to fend off that eventuality. I note that there is a "WikiProject Explosives" (see top of page); the people working on this should formulate responsible rules about content in this area, otherwise they will bring Wikipedia into very bad repute, and may cause it to be blocked by some countries. AWhiteC (talk) 15:46, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
AWhiteC, I sympathize with your point of view, truly I do; but you seem to me to have some misapprehensions about how Wikipedia works and what its goals and policies are. You are here arguing what you think Wikipedia should be, but we have to edit this article according to how Wikipedia's policies actually are. This article's talk page is not the right place if you want to change policy; the correct place to do that would be the talk page for WP:NOTCENSORED. In the meantime, Wikipedia editing happens in accordance with the Bold, Revert, Discuss guideline: and editor boldly makes a change; another disputes it and reverts the change; and the original editor then must Discuss it on the articles Talk page in order to gain consenus. When a change is disputed—particularly to long-standing sourced material such as this—the burden is on the editor that wants to make the change to gain consensus for his desired changes. Right now what you are doing is called edit-warring, which is not a desireable way to interact with other editors (Wikipedia is a collaborative project founded on seeking consensus to resolve disputes). Please self-revert your removal of the relevant material and pursue your desired changes by one of the avenues I have outline above. --Xover (talk) 19:29, 26 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Again, I concur with Xover; I could not have said it better myself. Nevertheless, and not wanting to detract from the seriousness of the incident, I would like to remind both AWhiteC and FOARP that the ANFO bomb killed just 8 of the total 76 people that were killed during the terrorist attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011; the remaining 68 deaths were the result of shootings with a Ruger Mini-14 Carbine and a Glock 17 pistol by the perpetrator. So, are you going to insist that the Wikipedia articles on those two subjects should also be censored, lest they will encourage other gun nuts? – IVAN3MAN (talk) 04:47, 27 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
If the page on shotguns included a list of instructions on how to create a sawn-off, I would also object. Similarly if the page on "straw purchases" advised people on the best way of making a straw purchase of firearms is. I do not object to the listing of the chemical composition of ANFO, I object to the listing of a recipe for making ANFO. Again, Wikipedia is not a manual, still less is it a terrorist or murderer's manual. FOARP (talk) 12:33, 27 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
FOARP makes a good point. Having reviewed Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, I feel that Wikipedia is not a manual overrides Wikipedia is not censored in this case. I appear to be banging my head against a bureaucratic brick wall here. The peaked cap brigade are quoting Wikipedia rules at me rather than using their judgement. I intend to take this up elsewhere, such as "WikiProject Explosives". AWhiteC (talk) 14:43, 27 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I have looked at that section again, and I disagree that it is "a recipe"; it merely states a fact about the composition of ANFO and no more, and it does not go into any detail about the method of mixing the ingredients – which anyone can easily find out via Google! Also, has it not occurred to either of you, FOARP and AWhiteC, that deleting that section will not prevent someone from finding out what that section was by simply reviewing the history of the article in question? – IVAN3MAN (talk) 02:50, 28 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree, it clearly describes the proportion in which materials should be mixed to make ANFO, and, rather than chemical components identified in scientific terms, lists the household-available ingredients from which to acheive the "best" results. This is not a description of chemical make-up. It is a recipe. This is the difference between describing the make-up of Chlorine gas (Cl2), and saying how you can make it out of house-hold materials such as bleach. FOARP (talk) 12:22, 28 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Except in this case the chemical compound in question is Ammonium Nitrate/Fuel Oil (ANFO); so describing the proportions involved of the two substances is entirely in line with the purpose of the article: freely available encyclopedic coverage of all the world's knowledge. --Xover (talk) 13:03, 28 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

aluminium increasing demolition power by 10-30 percent over plain ANFO[edit]

Looking at the source[1], the assertion that aluminium would demolition power by 10-30 percent over plain ANFO is a claim made by the terrorist in question in his 'manifesto'. Is that a properly authoritative source for this claim? Dlabtot (talk) 01:55, 21 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Newbie Needs Help[edit]

Martin I. Wayne, “China’s war on terrorism: counter-insurgency, politics, and internal security,” (New York, NY: Routeledge, 2008).

This is a source for the section where the Shijiazhuang bombings are called "the worst terrorist attack in Chinese history" found on theS hijiazhuang bombings page. I have no idea how Wikipedia works but I think this might help with that citation needed tag. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:53, 24 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Chemistry note[edit]

The chemistry section states that the reaction of AN with long-chain alkanes (fuel oil) produces nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water.

The balanced reaction is . By my periodic table, weighs and weighs . Accounting for stoichiometry, this gives an ideal AN-to-alkane weight ratio of in the long-chain limit, or 94.48% AN to 5.52% alkanes. This approximation is pretty close; #2 fuel oil has between 10 and 20, so the real numbers are 94.55% AN to 5.45% FO, to within in either direction.

But the article's chemistry section also states that the ideal stoichiometric balance is about 94.3% AN to 5.7% FO, which is way outside the tolerance. So if that ratio actually is stoichiometric, then there are side reactions and/or reaction products not listed in the article, which makes the article somewhat misleading (by way of omission). I could easily see detonation producing carbon monoxide, for example, or elemental carbon like TNT. Alternately, the article may be stating the ideal (non-stoichiometric) balance. After all, the section goes on to claim that, in practice, a slight excess of fuel oil is added to ensure that the AN is completely consumed.

Some references or clarification would be helpful. Dave Blau (talk) 07:58, 30 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Number 8 blasting cap[edit]

Section: chemistry Paragraph: 3

"... but cannot be detonated with a No. 8 blasting cap without a sensitizer"

Could we maybe have some information in parantheses after the word "cap" to clarify what a number 8 blasting cap is. If you exclude the clause on detonation, it reads (very roughly) "ANFO is a blasting agent but cannot be detonated with a No 8 blasting cap without a sensitizer".

I just think it needs a little clarification, is a number 8 blasting cap a particularly good blasting cap, is it a standard model? Would a number 5 blasting cap do the trick, with or without sensitizer?

The following paragraph deals more specifically with the sensitivity of ANFO, so maybe the "no. 8..." could be removed? I'm out of familiar territory here so I'm not going to start any alterations, even in good faith, I know it irks some people! Satyris410 (talk) 21:46, 19 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Blasting caps come in several sizes, the most common of which is a No.6 which contains 1 gram of explosive.
A No.8 cap contains two grams of explosive, and is significant in that if an explosive substance cannot be detonated by a number 8 cap it can under US law be classified as a blasting agent rather than as a high explosive, which means it is subject to much less regulation regarding transport, storage, licensing etc.. (talk) 17:06, 5 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

oslo bombing annm?[edit]

The bloomberg source is behind a paywall and the Norwegian is full of speculation on the size of the bomb. None supports ANNM. I have not found sources to support ANNM. ANFO plus aluminium powder does not make ANNM. Anyone able to read the bloomberg source please check if it supports ANNM and if not please revert to ANFO. (talk) 12:15, 20 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]


The 1993 Bishopsgate bombing did not use ANFO, it used CAN/IS (calcium ammonium nitrate aka nitrochalk fertiliser plus icing sugar) with a Semtex booster. It was the second of four large IRA CAN/IS bombs on the mainland. (talk) 12:22, 3 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Any confusion between ANFO and CAN/IS here is probably because the bomb was reported to be a "fertiliser bomb", which was widely but incorrectly assumed to be ANFO. The Semtex came from Gadaffi in Libya. The other IRA CAN/IS plus Semtex mainland lorry bombs were:
1992 Baltic Exchange Bombing
1996 Manchester Shopping Mall
1996 Docklands Bombing
CAN/IS was also used by the UVF in the 1998 Omagh bombing (talk) 13:20, 3 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]