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(organic chemistry)
CH3NO2 A liquid nitroparaffin compound; oily and colorless; boils at 101°C; used as a monopropellant for rockets, in chemical synthesis, and as an industrial solvent for cellulosics, resins, waxes, fats, and dyestuffs.



CH3NO2, the simplest aliphatic nitro compound; a colorless liquid with an odor of bitter almonds. Boiling point, 101.2°C; density, 1.138 g/cm3 (20°C).

Nitromethane is soluble in water and is miscible with ordinary organic solvents (except paraffins); it forms an azeotrope with water (boiling point, 83.6°C; 76.4 percent nitromethane). It condenses readily with aldehydes, ketones, and ethylene oxide. For example, the reaction with formaldehyde is


In industry, nitromethane is usually produced by degradative nitration of propane. It is used mainly as a solvent (for example, for cellulose ester varnishes and vinyl polymers), for the extraction of aromatic hydrocarbons, and in the production of chloropicrin and a number of explosives. Nitromethane is poisonous; its maximum permissible concentration in the air in working areas is 0.01 percent.

References in periodicals archive ?
5%, and efficiency variation was achieved via addition of nitromethane.
fuel-powered models use glow plug engines, small internal combustion engines fuelled by a special mixture of nitromethane, methanol and oil (in most cases a blend of castor oil and synthetic oil).
The cars run on nitro fuel Au a highly-combustible mixture of nitromethane, alcohol and normal engine oil.
The FBI said the suitcase contained two galvanized pipes, end caps with holes drilled in them, two prescription bottles containing air gun pellets, a model rocket igniter, batteries, lighters, lighter fluid and two plastic vodka bottles of nitromethane, a liquid used as an industrial solvent and race car fuel.
To the Editor: We report 6 cases of accidental nitromethane poisoning, of which there are only 4 reported cases in the world literature.
The fluorine-containing chalcones will be used to make nitromethyl-containing diaryketones via Michael addition with nitromethane.
Consider: The primary fuel used by the top classes is nitromethane, suspected to be a carcinogen.
Horton said the top professional cars in drag racing, which run on nitromethane, reach 8,000 horsepower, mightier than a diesel electric locomotive.
The "gas" used in these models is nitromethane, and it comes premixed in either quart or gallon sizes.
As well as powering model planes, nitromethane is used commercially, both as an explosive and an industrial solvent.
New solvents have been developed that are far less threatening to the environment; these solvents are based on mixtures of isopropyl bromide or n-propyl bromide and 5- to 50-wt% nitromethane or nitroethane.