Monday, March 22, 2004

New Scientist: Defusing fertiliser may make bomb-building harder

"Now Speciality Fertilizer Products, a company based in Belton, Missouri, is patenting a water-soluble polymer coating for the fertiliser granules that repels fuel oil. The coating dissolves rapidly in soil, so it would not interfere with ammonium nitrate's main function as fertiliser.
If it works and is widely adopted, the treatment could make it harder for terrorists to turn fertiliser-grade ammonium nitrate into bombs, and could also help prevent industrial accidents."
Making a bomb is pretty easy, but this might at least raise the bar a little. Farmers now have to register and are closely monitored for what fertilzers they buy. Maybe some of those rules could be relaxed if this works and becomes widespread.

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