Detonating mixtures of RDX and TNT to produce nanodiamond is a common practice. This method requires the synthesis of those explosives, which involves many energy intensive and chemically toxic steps. When detonated, these explosives produce CO, CO2 and NOx gases, which are hundreds of times more destructive as greenhouse gases when compared with CO2. Also, RDX is heavily sought after for nefarious reasons, so transporting and storing RDX introduces added security and safety risks. Furthermore, the competition uses old military explosives rather than fresh explosives, because of price and easier access to them. The result introduces unwanted inconsistency and contamination into the resulting nanodiamond produced through RDX and TNT detonation.
CDP is a nitrogen free explosive that uses CO2 that has been captured from the effluent of an industrial process. The cleaned and compressed gas is converted into very fine dry ice powder and mixed with powdered reactants. The chilly mixture is then packed into a pipe, placed inside a containment vessel, armed and then detonated, which releases carbon, diamond material and specialty oxides among other materials depending on the formulation used. The technology basically converts CO2 into an inert material.
In mining, a common explosive is a mixture of ammonium nitrate (AN) and fuel oil (FO). Aptly named ANFO, this explosive produces CO2 as well as about 3L of NOx per kg of explosive detonated. AN is used in about 80% of all explosives. CDP is a nitrogen-free explosive and therefore cannot produce NOx gases. Replacing a portion of existing explosive applications with CDP, therefore, would offset the release of NOx gases that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, which would be a huge environmental benefit.