Researchers from the Department of Organic Chemistry at the IISc have developed a paper-based sensor for detecting tiny volumes of hydrogen peroxide, a chemical used widely in household and healthcare products like hand sanitiser as a disinfectant, in rocket fuel as a propellant, in biological cells, and also as a starting material in peroxide-based explosives.
The low-cost and biodegradable paper sensor could be extensively used in detection of peroxide-based explosives, especially as mixing concentrated hydrogen peroxide and acetone with an acid catalyst is known to form sensitive explosives triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and diacetone diperoxide (DADP). Detecting hydrogen peroxide efficiently is crucial as peroxide-based explosives can be traced using hydrogen peroxide, which is sometimes used as a starting material. Experts explained that although pure hydrogen peroxide solutions are not usually explosive at atmospheric pressure, higher concentrations become explosive in a temperature range just below the boiling point of a liquid medium it is packed in.
Source: The New Indian Express