New eco-friendly hand grenades are being developed by the US army which will aim to curb polluting the water supplies when they are used. The grenades which are being tested as a possible replacement for the current generation smoke grenades which have used the same technology for about 70 years.
The current grenades which are used contain a chemical known as hexachloroethane which poses a problem as it creates an irritant smoke. However, the final decision of the army to use these new grenades will depend upon the manufacturing cost, performance, toxicity, availability of material and environmental impact.
The first smoke grenade makes use of zinc free chemicals used to contaminate the water supply. The next is a highly ranked chemical in which there is a very little chance of water contamination. A senior explosives and pyrotechnics engineer said, “The advantage of this composition is that none of the ingredients are water soluble, and that nearly eliminates the contamination of water supplies.”
It is unusual that it creates a dark smoke cloud and is generally seen as inferior to lighter clouds which are better for cover. Here the third option has a solid solution of magnesium and aluminium which is appealing to the army as it withstands being fired from a much further distance.
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