QL (chemical)

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QL (chemical).svg
Preferred IUPAC name
2-[Di(propan-2-yl)amino]ethyl ethyl methylphosphonite
Other names
2-(Diisopropylamino)ethyl ethyl methylphosphonite
Isopropyl aminoethylmethyl phosphonite
O-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) O'-ethyl methylphosphonite
3D model (JSmol)
Abbreviations QL
Molar mass 235.303
Appearance Colorless liquid
Odor Strong fishy odor
Boiling point 230°C
Slightly soluble in water
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

Isopropyl aminoethylmethyl phosphonite (NATO designation QL), also known as O-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) O'-ethyl methylphosphonite, is a precursor chemical to the nerve agent VX. It is a colorless liquid with a strong fishy odor, and is slightly soluble in water. [1]


QL is manufactured by reacting diethyl methylphosphonite with 2-(Diethylamino)ethanol.[2]

Uses in chemical warfare[edit]

QL is a component in binary chemical weapons, mainly VX nerve agent.[3] It, along with methylphosphonyl difluoride (DF), was developed during the 1980s in order to replace an aging stockpile of unitary chemical weapons.[3] QL is listed as a "Schedule One" chemical by the Chemical Weapons Convention.[4]


QL itself is a relatively non-toxic chemical.[5] However, when reacting with sulfur, the corresponding sulphide of QL isomerizes into the highly toxic VX molecule.[3][5]


  1. ^ https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/170325#section=Experimental-Properties
  2. ^ https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/170325#section=Use-and-Manufacturing
  3. ^ a b c National Research Council, et al. Systems and Technologies for the Treatment of Non-stockpile Chemical Warfare Materiel, (Google Books), National Academies Press, 2002, p. 14, (ISBN 0309084520), accessed October 21, 2008.
  4. ^ "Schedule One Chemicals", Chemical Weapons Convention, US Government website, Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Croddy, Eric and Wirtz, James J. Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Encyclopedia of Worldwide Policy, Technology, and History, (Google Books), ABC-CLIO, 2005, p. 238, (ISBN 1851094903), accessed October 21, 2008.