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(trī'nī'trōtŏl`yo͞oēn), CH3C6H2(NO2)3, crystalline, aromatic compound that melts at 81°C;. It is prepared by the nitration of toluene. Trinitrotoluene is a high explosiveexplosive,
substance that undergoes decomposition or combustion with great rapidity, evolving much heat and producing a large volume of gas. The reaction products fill a much greater volume than that occupied by the original material and exert an enormous pressure, which can be
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, but, unlike nitroglycerin, it is unaffected by ordinary shocks and jarring, and must be set off by a detonatordetonator
, type of explosive that reacts with great rapidity and is used to set off other, more inert explosives. Fulminate of mercury mixed with potassium chlorate is a commonly used detonator.
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. Because it does not react with metals, it can be used in filling metal shells. It is often mixed with other explosives, e.g., with ammonium nitrate to form amatol.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(TNT; also trotyl or tolite), a high explosive; a crystalline substance that yellows during storage (the industrial product is yellow). Readily soluble in acetone and benzene; poorly soluble in water (0.013 g trinitrotoluene dissolves in 100 milliliters water at 20°C). Solidification point, 80.85°C; density, about 1.600 g/cm3; bulk density, 0.9 g/cm3.

Trinitrotoluene is chemically stable and may be stored for prolonged periods without decomposition, with retention of explosive properties. Under the action of bases, intensely colored complexes are formed, and under the action of alkali bases, readily explosive, unstable derivatives (trotylates) are formed. The explosive properties of trinitrotoluene are as follows: heat of explosion, 4,190 kilojoules per kg. or 1,000 kilocalories per kg, for a density of 1.5 g/cm3; volume of gaseous explosive products, 730 //kg; maximum rate of detonation, 7,000 m/sec; flash point, 290°C. Upon explosion of trinitrotoluene, a large quantity of toxic carbon monoxide is formed.

Trinitrotoluene is produced by the nitration of toluene using a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids, with subsequent washing with an aqueous solution of sodium sulfite. It is used for ammunition charges and for blasting, both in pure form and in mixtures—for example, with ammonium nitrate (ammonia explosives, ammonals, and ammatols) or with aluminum (Tritonal).


Orlova, E. Iu. Khimiia i tekhnologiia brizantnykh vzryvchatykh veshchestv, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Biological degradation of 2,4,6 trinitrotoluene. Microbiol Mol.
With conventional, non-nuclear explosives, such as trinitrotoluene (TNT), the energy released is chemical.
In order to make microcantilevers more sensitive to the explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT), research groups led by Denis Spitzer at the French-German Research Institute of Saint Louis and Valerie Keller at the Laboratoire des Materiaux, Surfaces et Procedes pour la Catalyse in Strasbourg have taken inspiration from the highly sensitive sense organ of some types of moths.
Table 1: Substances that can cause Methemoglobinemia (4) Inorganic Agents Nitrates, fertilizers, chlorates, copper sulfates --fungicides Organic Agents Amyl Nitrate, Isobutyl Nitrite, Sodium Nitrite, Nitroglycerin, Nitroprusside, Nitric Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Trinitrotoluene, Combustion products Drugs Local Anesthetics: Benzocaine, Lidocaine, Prilocaine Pyridium, Anti-malarials --Primaquine, Chloroquine, Rasburicase, Cyclophosphamide, Ifosfamide, flutamide, Acetaminophen, Acetanilid, Phenacetic, celecoxib, Zopiclone, Methlene Blue (high doses in G6PD-Deficient patients) Antibiotics: Sulfonamides, Nitrofurantoins, P-aminosalicylic acid, Dapsone Industrial/Household Agents Aniline Dyes, Nitrobenzene, naphthalene (moth balls), aminophenol, nitroethane (nail polish remover)
The pairs ([x.sub.1j],[x.sub.2j]) were used to calculate the mass of trinitrotoluene (TNT) which could cause an explosion with an energy equivalent to the energy of BLEVE (Table 1, Col.
Le 20 juillet, le ministre avait annonce que l'explosif utilise --trois kilogrammes de trolite (ou tolite)-- etait un explosif a usage militaire fabrique avec du trinitrotoluene (TNT) mais aussi frequemment utilise par differents mouvements.
Lead, brass and other metals from ammunition along with all the constituents of the propellants, including trinitrotoluene, picric acid, diphenylamine, nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, potassium nitrate, barium nitrate, tetracene, diazodintrophenol, phosphorus, peroxides, thiocarbamide, potassium chlorate, vinyl fluoride, vinyl chloride, sodium fluoride and sodium sulfate.
In January 2009, we had hailed them as the explosive young art duo that had broken on the country's horizon with the volatility of trinitrotoluene -- a comparison that refers not just to the nature of their art but also to their acronym, drawing from their professional signature of Thukral and Tagra.
A possible material candidate currently under investigation includes nanoporous silicon that is reported to have more than doubled the energy output of Trinitrotoluene. (52) Other examples include metastable intermolecular composites, sol gels, and functionalized carbon nanotubes.
In the published results, Thundat and his colleagues claim to be able to detect less than one billionth of a gram of such explosives as trinitrotoluene, pentaerythritol tetranitrate, and cyclotrimethylenetrinitromine.
The current primary security screening method employs ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) to detect nitro-containing explosives such as trinitrotoluene (TNT) and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) (Ewing et al.