Mononitrotoluene

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Mononitrotoluene, or methylnitrobenzene or nitrotoluene (MNT or NT), is a group of three organic compounds, a nitro derivative of toluene (or alternatively a methyl derivative of nitrobenzene). Its chemical formula is C6H4(CH3)(NO2).

Mononitrotoluene comes in three isomers, differing by the relative position of the methyl and nitro groups:

  • ortho-nitrotoluene (ONT), o-nitrotoluene, or 2-nitrotoluene. It is a pale yellow liquid with a subtle, characteristic smell, reminiscent of bitter almonds. It is non-hygroscopic and non-corrosive.
  • meta-nitrotoluene (MNT), m-nitrotoluene, or 3-nitrotoluene. It is a yellowish-greenish to yellow liquid with weak fragrance.
  • para-nitrotoluene (PNT), p-nitrotoluene, or 4-nitrotoluene. It is a pale yellow material forming rhombic crystals and has a somewhat pleasant, characteristic smell of bitter almonds. It is almost insoluble in water.

Typical use of nitrotoluene is in production of pigments, antioxidants, agricultural chemicals, and photographic chemicals.

Ortho-mononitrotoluene and para-mononitrotoluene can be also used as detection taggants for explosive detection.

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