shell explodes in Iraq - or does it? While sources are reporting that a shell filled with sarin "misfired" earlier today, the chemistry of sarin gas leads me to believe otherwise. According to agonist, sarin has an exceedingly short shelf life. To extend it, Iraq made binary bombs that contained only one component. The secondary component needed to be added at the last minute - by hand! In other words, the "botched" sarin shell likely contained only isopropynol - which we use in a mildly diluted form as rubbing alcohol.