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Chemical Name Nitroethane

CAS number: 79-24-3

Nitroethane is produced industrially by treating propane with nitric acid at 350–450 °C. This exothermic reaction produces four industrially significant nitroalkanes: nitromethane, nitroethane, 1-nitropropane, and 2-nitropropane. The reaction involves free radicals, such as CH3CH2CH2O., which arise via homolysis of the corresponding nitrite ester. These alkoxy radicals are susceptible to C—C fragmentation reactions, which explains the formation of a mixture of products.[5]

Alternatively, nitroethane can be produced by the Victor Meyer reaction of haloethanes such as chloroethane, bromoethane, or iodoethane with silver nitrite in diethyl ether or THF. The Kornblum modification of this reaction uses sodium nitrite in either a dimethyl sulfoxide or dimethylformamide solven

Nitroethane: Properties, Uses, and Safety Precautions

Nitroethane is a colorless and oily organic compound with the chemical formula C2H5NO2. It is a nitroalkane, which means it contains a nitro functional group (-NO2) attached to an alkyl group. Nitroethane is a versatile and useful compound that finds application in various industries, such as pharmaceuticals, explosives, and solvents. In this article, we will discuss the properties, uses, and safety precautions of nitroethane.

Properties of Nitroethane:

  • Nitroethane has a boiling point of 114.5 °C and a melting point of -89.5 °C.
  • It has a density of 1.09 g/cm3 at room temperature and a molecular weight of 75.07 g/mol.
  • Nitroethane is soluble in water and common organic solvents like ethanol, acetone, and diethyl ether.
  • It has a characteristic sweet and fruity odor, which can be detected even at low concentrations.

Uses of Nitroethane:

  1. Pharmaceuticals:

Nitroethane is used as a starting material in the synthesis of various pharmaceutical compounds. It is used to synthesize drugs like nitrofurans, nitroimidazoles, and nitrothiazoles, which have antibacterial and antiprotozoal properties.

  1. Explosives:

Nitroethane is used as a high-energy fuel in model rockets and as a component in explosives, such as nitrostarch and ammonium nitrate/fuel oil (ANFO) mixtures. It is also used as a plasticizer in explosive compositions.

  1. Solvents:

Nitroethane is used as a solvent for various organic compounds, such as fats, oils, and waxes. It is also used as a solvent in the manufacture of artificial leather.

  1. Other Uses:

Nitroethane is used as a flavoring agent in the food industry and as a fuel additive in racing cars. It is also used as a reagent in organic chemistry reactions.

Safety Precautions:

Nitroethane is a hazardous compound and should be handled with care. Here are some safety precautions that should be followed when working with nitroethane:

  • Nitroethane is flammable and can ignite if exposed to heat, sparks, or flames. It should be stored in a cool and dry place away from any sources of ignition.
  • It can cause skin irritation, and prolonged exposure can cause dermatitis. It should be handled wearing protective gloves and clothing.
  • It can also cause eye irritation and can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. Adequate ventilation should be provided, and respiratory protection should be worn when working with nitroethane.
  • Nitroethane is a strong oxidizing agent and can react violently with reducing agents. It should be stored separately from reducing agents, such as metal powders and hydrides.

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