Octogen (HMX) Plant

Octogen Technology

Octogen synthesis is performed using the acetanhydride process, resp. by hexamine nitration, whereon as incoming components are used ammonium nitrate solution in concentrated nitric acid, hexamine solution in glacial acetic acid and acetic acid anhydride. Octogen obtained in our plant is in the form of stable β modification.

Our plant for octogen manufacture is of batch type. Yield of octogen obtained by this process amounts to 70% of the theoretical one, calculated to hexamine.

Process description

The main process phases are: Raw Materials Preparation of Reagents; Nitration; Stabilization; Crystallization; Phlegmatization; Drying; Packing.

Preparation of Reagents

Nitric acid is fed to the reactor by means of the pump, whereupon to the same reactor is also fed ammonium nitrate by means of the elevator. Upon completed dissolving, the solution is transferred to the receiving vessels.

From the daily store tank glacial acetic acid is fed to the reactor and hexamine is subsequently fed by the elevator. When dissolving is accomplished, the solution is transferred to the receiving vessels.

Other process components - glacial acetic acid and acetic acid anhydride - are transferred by the pumps from the daily store tank to the nitration.


All four reaction components are transferred to the feeding vessels by means of pumps.

Octogen synthesis is carried out in the nitrator into which the initial composition had been introduced beforehand and then the reagents are fed from the feeding vessels with stirring. The reaction mass is then discharged from the nitrator.


The stabilization of octogen is carried out in the reactor with the addition of water. The reaction mass is then discharged to the filters where crude octogen is separated from the acid phase. Octogen is removed from the filters and suspended in water in the vessel for suspension preparation, whereupon it is transferred by pump to the crystallization.


Octogen and water suspension is separated on the filter in the Crystallization building. From the filter octogen is fed into the crystallizer previously charged with acetone. Upon completed dissolving, the content in the vessel is heated up to the boiling temperature and, followed by stirring, conversion of other octogen modifications to the stable β modification takes place. Recrystallized octogen is separated on the filter from weak acetone which is conveyed to the recovery.

HMX Production



The composition production vessel is fed with hot water and octogen. Previously molten wax is added afterwards. The composition in the vessel is heated, subsequently cooled and drained on mobile filters.

Drying and packing

Phlegmatized octogen is separated from water on the mobile filter which is driven to drying under vacuum and finally to packing.

Other Technologies

In the course of octogen manufacture as by-product is obtained weak acetic acid, containing traces of nitric acid and explosive precipitate. The recovery of weak acetic acid is performed by distillation and concentration.

Within the plant for octogen manufacture we also supply supporting plants for acetic acid recovery and acetone recovery.