Perchloric Acid – A Versatile Murder Weapon!

Unique lethal compounds fascinate me and, as a medical thriller writer, I’m constantly on dreamstime_xs_2932007the search for new methods of murder. Today, I’d like to discuss a most interesting chemical—perchloric acid. It has deadly potential in a number of ways and should be of interest to a variety of writers because of its versatility.

Perchloric acid is usually found as a water-based solution. It is colorless and odorless, but extremely deadly. Interestingly, because of its industrial use to etch chrome and crystal displays, it’s readily available on the Internet.

It is somewhat regulated, however, since it is also used to make rocket fuel; but someonerocket8 with a little knowledge of chemistry can synthesize it by reacting sodium perchlorate with hydrochloric acid. Sodium perchlorate is used in standard laboratories to extract DNA; and hydrochloric acid, commonly known in the plumbing industry as muriatic acid, is used to clear clogged drains.

As a murder weapon, perchloric acid’s obvious potential is that it’s a strong acid. Actually, it’s classified as “a super acid—that means perchloric acid is more acidic than 100% pure sulfuric acid. Upon contact with skin, eyes, or mucous membranes, this acid causes severe burns and tissue formualtiondestruction. The villain in your murder plot will have to handle perchloric acid with neoprene gloves and use chemical goggles, a face shield and a rubber apron for protection from accidental spills. And the chemical should be stored in either glass or porcelain containers.

What is most fascinating about perchloric acid is that it’s a powerful oxidizer. This substance, while not necessarily combustible in itself, yields enough oxygen molecules when heated to cause fires and even explosions. When heated rapidly, such as with an incendiary device, perchloric acid reacts violently (often explosively) to oxidize paper, wood, metals such as copper and brass, and clothing. Clothing materials include nylon, polyester, cotton and wool.

Thus, perchloric acid could be the basis for a rather dramatic scene of personal or large-scale explosive destruction with residual intense fire. It would be like having several open oxygen canisters near a flame.

Another interesting advantage of using perchloric acid as a weapon is itsdna_crime potential to destroy DNA evidence. Because of its strong acid capacity and its explosive oxidizing capability, this chemical will destroy any DNA evidence inadvertently left behind by the perpetrator.

Although my job as a writer is to think like a villain, I also believe that most should get caught at some point. Perchloric acid will make that process much more difficult and possibly create some rather interesting plot twists.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

About James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, medications and their impact on one’s quality of life have been my expertise. My secret passion of murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. I’ve always loved reading murder mysteries and thrillers, and longed to weave such tales of my own. Drawing on my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, my tales of murder, mayhem and medicine will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
This entry was posted in A How To Blog on Murder Plot Ideas, A How To Blog on Murder Weapons, About James J. Murray, About Murder, Acids and Tissue Damage, Acids and Tissue Death, Acids Used to Murder People, Acute Poisons, All About Murder, Blog Trends, Blog Writers, Blogging, Chemicals Used For Murder, Dramatic Murder Weapons, Flesh Eating Acids, Ideas for Murder Scenes, Interesting Murder Weapons, Lethal Agents and Murder, Lethal Substances Used For Murder, Murder Weapons, Murder Weapons Discussed, New Methods of Murder, New Methods To Kill Characters in Your Novel, PCA and Murder, PCA as a Superacid and Oxidizer, Perchloric Acid, Perchloric Acids as a Superacid and Oxidizer, Strong Acids Used For Murder, Tools for Murder, Unique Lethal Compounds, Unique Murder Plots, Ways To Kill, Ways to Murder, Writing Murder Scenes Using Perchloric Acid and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Perchloric Acid – A Versatile Murder Weapon!

  1. How about that — I learned something new. Hydrochloric acid is a.k.a. muriatic acid. I’ve used the latter from time to time to clean rust stains from concrete, but didn’t know it was hydrochloric acid.
    See, the day wasn’t a total waste after all, thanks to you.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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