| IUPAC name
| Systematic IUPAC name
| Other names
|Molar mass||77.04 g/mol|
|Melting point||−82.3 °C (−116.1 °F; 190.8 K)|
|Boiling point||64.6 °C (148.3 °F; 337.8 K)|
|Poorly soluble in water|
Std enthalpy of
|Safety data sheet||None|
| Nitric acid|
Ethylene glycol dinitrate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Methyl nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula CH3NO3. It is the methyl ester of nitric acid.
While they have similar names, methyl nitrate is NOT nitromethane (CH3NO2).
Methyl nitrate is a strong explosive, sensitive, that burns with a blue-grayish flame.
Methyl nitrate is a colorless liquid, poorly soluble in water. It freezes at −82.3 °C and boils at 64.6 °C. Methyl nitrate has a density of 1.203 g/cm3.
Methyl nitrate is a sensitive explosive, with a detonation velocity of 6300 m/s, slightly below that of TNT.
Due to its high sensitivity, methyl nitrate is not sold and has to be made in situ.
Oxidizing di-tert-butyl ether with oxygen, nitrogen monoxide and chlorine at 21.9 °C produces carbon monoxide, nitromethane, methyl nitrate and tert-butyl acetate. The process also works at 1020 mbar under irradiation.
Reacting methyl bisulfate with nitric acid will also produce methyl nitrate.
- Make blasting cap
- Make myrol (75% CH3NO3, 25%CH3OH)
Methyl nitrate is sensible to shock and may explode if struck. This property is greatly increased by its volatility. It is also toxic and, like in the case of nitroglycerin, it will cause headaches if inhaled.
Do not store methyl nitrate! Use it as quickly as possible
Small amounts of methyl nitrate can be detonated in a safe area.
For a chemical, safer method, methyl nitrate should be first diluted in an alcohol, then very carefully and slowly, a diluted solution of NaOH in alcohol is added dropwise, while keeping the solution cooled at low temperature. This route should not be performed unless the person knows how the reaction will proceed.
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- International Journal of Chemical Kinetics; vol. 46; nb. 9; (2014); p. 501 - 511
- Journal of Physical Chemistry; vol. 85; nb. 9; (1981); p. 1126 - 1132
- Zhurnal Organicheskoi Khimii, vol. 4, (1968), p. 1893 - 1899, 1829 - 1833
- International Journal of Chemical Kinetics; vol. 28; nb. 4; (1996); p. 299 - 306
- Chem. Zentralbl.; vol. 103; nb. II; (1932); p. 2032