The present invention relates to a process to produce 1,3-diamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (DATB) or 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6,-trinitrobenzene (TATB) by: (a) reacting at ambient pressure and a temperature of between about 0.degree. and 50.degree. C. for between about 0.1 and 24 hr, a trinitroaromatic compound of structure V: ##STR1## wherein X, Y, and Z are each independently selected from the group consisting of --H and --NH.sub.2, with the proviso that at least 1 or 2 of X, Y, and Z are hydrogen; with an effective amount of 1-amino-1,2,4-triazole, hydroxylamine or O-alkylhydroxamine to produce DATB or TATB; in the presence of a strong base selected from sodium butoxide, potassium butoxide, potassium propoxide, sodium propoxide, sodium ethoxide, potassium ethoxide, sodium methoxide, potassium methoxide, and combinations thereof; in a solvent selected from the group consisting of methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, dimethylsulphoxide, N-methylpyrrolidone, hexamethylphosphoramide, dimethylformide, dimethylacetamide and mixtures thereof, provided that when alcohols are present or when hydroxylamine or its O-alkyl derivatives replace ATA primarily DATB is formed; and (b) isolating the DATB or TATB produced. DATB and TATB are important and useful specialty explosives and intermediates for other materials.
ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.