You can get a mighty impressive explosion with no diesel anywhere around. (The previusly mentioned "Texas City Disaster")
The Diesel doesn't actually take part in the initial energetic reaction of the Ammonium Nitrate decomposing.
Ammonium nitrate will detonate at ~3600Meters/sec without any fuel.
this isn't sufficient brisance to "shatter" stuff or cut steel, but it's great for pushing things around with great vigor.
Diesel reacts with the HOT decomposition products, Oxygen and various oxides of Nitrogen all of which are strong oxidizers, the Diesel adds energy, But the main force is from the Ammonium Nitrate itself
I will grant you that the efficiency is greater with the diesel, Diesel
increases the "dwell" of the pressure wave
The main reasons they add Diesel fuel to fuel oil in mining blasting
is because the liquid slurry pours more easily into the bore holes
AND the mixture of Ammonium Nitrate and Diesel fuel is less
dangerous to transport than the Ammonium Nitrate alone.
So in essence the Diesel is "icing on the cake"
In World War 2, it was discovered that replacing 20% of the TNT in bombs and shells with powdered aluminum left the bombs with the same power, but powdered aluminum is considerably cheaper to produce than TNT.
MOST nitrogen based explosives are not as "efficient" as they could be because most produce a surplus of Oxygen or oxygen rich oxides of nitrogen when decomposing
Hydrazine is used as a fuel in rocketry, typically with Nitrogen Tetroxide or Nitric Acid as an oxidizer, but some times with high test Hydrogen peroxide, what is less known is that if a rocket nozzle is coated with certain catalytic metals, Hydrazine can be used as an efficient monopropellant.
Hydrogen peroxide, more typically used as an oxidizer, can also be used as an efficient monopropellant All you need is a piece of silver catalyst at the beginning of the divergent nozzle
HT-Peroxide very efficiently (And with disturbing rapidity) converts itself into superheated steam
Trust me on this type of subject:)