Ethyl nitrite

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Ethyl nitrite
Ethyl nitrite 3d structure.png
Preferred IUPAC name
Ethyl nitrite
Other names
Ethyl alcohol nitrite
Nitrous acid
Nitrous ether
Ethyl ester
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.003.385
Molar mass 75.067 g·mol−1
Boiling point 17 °C (63 °F; 290 K)
Main hazards [1]
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flammability code 4: Will rapidly or completely vaporize at normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, or is readily dispersed in air and will burn readily. Flash point below 23 °C (73 °F). E.g. propaneHealth code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g. chloroformReactivity code 4: Readily capable of detonation or explosive decomposition at normal temperatures and pressures. E.g. nitroglycerinSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

The chemical compound ethyl nitrite is an alkyl nitrite. It may be prepared from ethanol.[2]

Preparation of ethyl nitrite.png

It is used as a reagent with butanone to yield the dimethylglyoxime end product. Preparation of dimethylglyoxime.png

Ethyl nitrite is the main ingredient in a traditional ethanol-based South African remedy for colds and flu known as Witdulsies and sold in pharmacies. It is known as a traditional Afrikaans remedy and may have Dutch roots, as the same remedy is apparently made by the Germano-Dutch Amish people in the USA. However FDA has blocked over-the-counter sales of this same remedy, known in the USA as sweet nitrite or sweet spirit of nitre since 1980.[3] Its use has been associated with fatal methemoglobinemia.[4]


  1. ^ "NFPA 704 Ratings for Common Chemicals".
  2. ^ Semon, W. L.; Damerell, V. R. (1943). "Dimethylglyoxime". Organic Syntheses.; Collective Volume, 2, p. 204
  3. ^ "Rulemaking History for OTC Sweet Spirits of Nitre Drug Products". Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  4. ^ "ETHYL NITRITE - National Library of Medicine HSDB Database". Retrieved 2017-11-18.

External links[edit]