Dimethylhydrazine


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Dimethylhydrazine

 

an acyclic hydrazo compound; a colorless transparent liquid with a sharp organic amine odor. Two isomeric dimethylhydrazines are known: symmetrical dimethylhydrazine, CH3NH―NHCH3, and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine, (CH3)2N―NH2.

Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine is of practical significance. Boiling point, 63°C; melting point, −57.2°C; density, 0.795 g/cm3 (20°C); heat of formation ΔH0298 (liquid), 47.4 ± 3 kilojoules per mole, or 11.3 ± 0.7 kilocalories per mole. It is soluble in water and organic solvents (for example, alcohol); it is hygroscopic; and its aqueous solutions exhibit weakly alkaline reactions. In air, (CH3)2N—NH2 oxidizes slowly and ignites spontaneously at 270° C. Mixtures of its vapor with air are explosive within the limits of 2-99 percent (by volume). It is not sensitive to impact and detonation and is highly poisonous. Dimethylhydrazine is produced by the nitrosation of dimethylamine followed by the reduction of the dimethylnitrosamine with hydrogen

or by the reaction of dimethylamine with chloramine

(CH3)2 + NH2Cl + NaOH → (CH3)2NNH2 + NaCl + H2O

Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine is used as the combustible component of liquid rocket fuel.

REFERENCES

Motornye i raketnye topliva, 4th ed. Edited by K. K. Papok and E.G. Semenido. Moscow, 1962.
Sarner, S. Khimiia raketnykh topliv. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from English.)

V. S. LAPIK

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The experimental diets continued for 24 days after which 21 rats/ diet were injected with dimethylhydrazine (DMH) (25 mg/kg body weight) dissolved in saline with 1 mmol/L EDTA, adjusted to pH 7.
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Using the loadmaster's hazmat bible, the NAVSUP PUB 505 (known to us simply as the "505"), I learned these rockets contained two chemicals: inhibited red fuming nitric acid (IRFNA) and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (hydrazine)--both extremely dangerous.