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What is more powerful than C4?

Explosives are one of the most fascinating chemical compounds that humans have discovered. These compounds have played an essential role in various sectors such as mining, construction, and military, to mention a few. The effectiveness of explosives is mostly measured by the R.E. or relative effectiveness factor, which compares the energy released by a particular explosive to the energy released by TNT.

Whenever we hear a conversation about explosives, C4 is often a topic of discussion. C-4 is one of the most well-known explosives globally and is primarily used in military and demolition applications. C-4 is an extremely stable and powerful explosive that can be easily molded to fit into various shapes and forms.

But what if I told you that there is an explosive that is significantly more potent than C4? Yes, you read that right! There is an explosive known as ONC, which is more than twice as powerful as C-4. In this blog post, we will explore what ONC is, how it works, and why it is more potent than C-4.

What is ONC?

ONC is an abbreviation for Octanitrocubane, a high-velocity explosive that was first synthesized in 1994 by Philip Eaton and Mao-Xi Zhang, two chemists from the University of Chicago. ONC is part of the cubane family, a group of explosive compounds that are highly stable, yet can release a vast amount of energy when detonated.

ONC is a relatively small molecule, with a molecular formula of C8H8N8O16. Its small size makes it an attractive explosive compound as it can be easily transported and can be molded into different shapes. ONC is a white crystalline powder that is temperature and shock-sensitive.

A shocking note about ONC is that it is incredibly fast, with a detonation velocity of 10,100 m/s, which makes it the fastest known explosive compound! Its detonation velocity is almost three times faster than TNT and more than twice as fast as C4!

How does ONC work?

ONC’s explosive properties come from the massive amount of energy it stores in its molecules. When ONC is detonated, the tightly packed molecules release a large amount of energy, which results in a devastating shockwave. This shockwave can have a destructive impact on the surrounding environment, which includes buildings, vehicles, or any other objects in the blast radius.

ONC works by releasing a gaseous mixture of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor, which are the byproducts of the explosive reaction. This reaction releases enormous amounts of heat, sound, and shockwaves, which can cause widespread destruction.

Why is ONC more powerful than C4?

ONC is more potent than C4 because of its molecular structure and detonation velocity. Unlike C-4, which has a molecular structure that is relatively simple, ONC has a complex structure that is highly symmetrical and tightly packed. The increased density and energy content of ONC’s molecular structure allow it to release more energy when detonated.

As mentioned earlier, ONC’s detonation velocity is almost three times faster than TNT and more than twice as fast as C4. The high detonation velocity means the ONC explosive reaction occurs faster and yields more explosive power than C4.


In conclusion, ONC is an explosive that is more powerful than C-4. Its molecular structure and detonation velocity make it more potent, faster, and a destructive force to be reckoned with. ONC’s explosive properties make it a valuable tool in various applications, such as mining, demolition, and the military. However, it is crucial to remember that explosives are dangerous and require careful handling to avoid any accidents or fatalities.


How powerful is 1 gigaton of TNT?

One gigaton of TNT is an incredibly powerful destructive force. To put it into perspective, 1 gigaton is equal to 1 billion tons of TNT, which is a jaw-dropping amount of explosive energy. When converted into joules, it is equal to 4.184 x 10^18 joules, which is equivalent to the energy released by 100 billion gallons of gasoline.

The weight to energy yield ratio of 1 gigaton of TNT is more than 1:1000, which means that every kilogram of TNT can yield over 1,000 times its weight in explosive energy. This is one of the reasons why explosives like TNT are so frequently used in mining and other industries, where a small amount can generate a significant amount of energy to move earth or other materials.

However, the potential destructive power of 1 gigaton of TNT is beyond comprehension. It is estimated that if a gigaton yield device was detonated about 16 kilometers up in the atmosphere, it would create a firestorm over an area of more than 700,000 square kilometers. This would lead to widespread destruction and a significant loss of life.

To put it into perspective, a few thousand gigatons would be enough to kill all humans on the planet. This is the reason why the concept of a gigaton yield device is often referred to as a “doomsday bomb.” It is a weapon of mass destruction that could wipe out entire cities, countries, or even continents.

One gigaton of TNT is an unimaginably powerful force that has the potential to cause widespread destruction and loss of life. The consequences of a gigaton yield device being detonated are beyond what anyone would want to imagine. It is a reminder that such weaponry should never be used and that efforts must continue to be made towards nuclear disarmament and world peace.

What is the TNT equivalent of C-4?

C-4 is a type of plastic explosive used by military forces for demolition and other explosive operations. It is made up of RDX (Cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine), combined with other ingredients like plasticizers and stabilizers. It is an extremely powerful explosive that is widely used by military forces around the world.

For comparison purposes, the power of different explosives is often expressed in terms of an equivalent amount of TNT. TNT (trinitrotoluene) is a high explosive that has been used by militaries for many years. It is widely accepted as a reference standard in the field of explosives.

When comparing the power of one explosive to another, you need to compare their respective heat of detonation. This is the amount of energy released when an explosive is detonated. It is measured in joules (J) per kilogram (kg) of explosive.

The heat of detonation for C-4 is approximately 4.71 MJ/kg, while the heat of detonation for TNT is around 4.184 MJ/kg. Therefore, to calculate the TNT equivalent of C-4, you need to divide the heat of detonation for C-4 by the heat of detonation for TNT.

For example, if you have 3 kg of C-4, you can calculate the TNT equivalent as follows:

TNT equivalent weight of C-4 = 3 kg x (4.71 MJ/kg / 4.184 MJ/kg) = 3.381 kg

Therefore, 3 kg of C-4 has the TNT equivalent weight of 3.381 kg of TNT.

The TNT equivalent is a useful measure for comparing the power of different explosives and is commonly used in military and explosive engineering operations. Knowing the TNT equivalent of an explosive like C-4 can help determine how much of the explosive is required to achieve a desired result, and it can also help with safety planning and risk management.

What explosive force is equal to 1000000 tons of TNT?

When measuring the destructive force of an explosion, it is customary to use the concept of equivalent megatons (EMT). This means that the energy released by an explosion is compared to the energy released by a certain amount of TNT. The TNT equivalent is used as a standard because TNT is a well-known and widely used explosive substance.

In the case of an explosion equal to 1 million tons of TNT, we are dealing with a 1 megaton weapon. A megaton is a unit of energy equivalent to one million tons of TNT. It is important to note that this measure of energy is not directly related to the physical weight of the explosive material, but rather to the amount of energy it releases.

To put this in perspective, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 had an explosive force of approximately 15 kilotons, which is equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT. This means that a 1 megaton weapon is 67 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

In terms of raw energy, 1 megaton is equivalent to 4.18 × 10^15 joules. To give you a better idea of how much energy this is, consider that the average power consumption of a typical American household is around 1.2 kilowatts. One joule is equal to one watt-second, so a 1 megaton explosion releases enough energy to power the average household for over 350,000 years!

Despite the devastating power of a 1 megaton explosion, it is worth noting that more advanced nuclear weapons have explosive yields that reach far beyond this level. The largest nuclear weapon ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba, had a yield of 50 megatons, which is 50 times more powerful than a 1 megaton explosion. However, due to the immense destructive potential of nuclear weapons, their use is heavily restricted and regulated by international law.