Trinitrotoluene

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Trinitrotoluene
Names
IUPAC name
2-Methyl-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene
Other names
2,4,6-Trinitromethylbenzene, 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene, TNT, Trilite, Tolite, Trinol, Trotyl, Tritolo, Tritolol, Triton, Tritone, Trotol, Trinitrotoluol
Identifiers
Jmol-3D images Image
Properties
C7H5N3O6
Molar mass 227.13 g/mol
Appearance Pale yellow solid
Odor Odorless
Density 1.654 g/cm3
Melting point 80.35 °C (176.63 °F; 353.50 K)
Boiling point 240 °C (464 °F; 513 K) (decomposes)
0.13 g/L (20 °C)
Solubility Soluble in diethyl ether, acetone, benzene, pyridine
Vapor pressure 0.0002 mmHg (20°C)
Hazards
Safety data sheet Zaryachem
Flash point 167 °C
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
795 mg/kg (rat, oral)
660 (mouse, oral)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Picric acid
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Trinitrotoluene or TNT, or more specifically 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, is a chemical compound with the formula C6H2(NO2)3CH3. TNT's most common use is that of an explosive material, with both military and (some) civilian applications. The explosive yield of TNT is considered to be the standard measure of strength of explosive materials.

Properties

Chemical

TNT will burn if ignited, but requires a blasting cap to detonate it.

Physical

TNT is a yellowish solid, insoluble in water but readily soluble in organic solvents.

Explosive

TNT is a relative insensitive explosive, with a RE factor of 1.00 and a detonation velocity of 6900 m/s.

Availability

Chemical suppliers do not sell bulk TNT, nor do they have it in their stock, they will however sell diluted TNT solutions, mainly for analysis. These however are not available to the amateur chemist, nor is it economical to purchase such materials in bulk.

Preparation

TNT can be prepared by nitrating toluene to mononitrotoluene, then dinitrotoluene and finally trinitrotoluene using a nitrating mixture. The synthesis process is fairly complex.

Projects

  • Make blasting charge

Handling

Safety

TNT is extremely toxic. Exposure to TNT leads to the skin turning yellow, and people with such condition during WWI (women working in munitions factories) were nicknamed "canaries" or "canary girls".

Storage

TNT should be stored in closed containers, away from any source of hazard.

Disposal

TNT can be mixed with a flammable solvent and burned, or simply burned. Both methods yield lots of carbon monoxide, soot, VOCs, PAHs, other aromatics, etc. This must be done outside. Since the resulting smoke is harmful, it's best to use a special incinerator, equipped with an afterburner.

TNT can be safely neutralized with Fenton's reagent. Slowly adding drops of diluted solutions of TNT in Fenton's solution will limit the aerosolization of TNT and other byproducts from the oxidation. This process is best done in a well ventilated area or (preferably) outside. UV light will accelerate the reaction.[1][2]

References

  1. http://nmrlab.yo-que.ch/controversia/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=c2:l2:fenton-_explosivos.pdf
  2. https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/jeq/abstracts/26/2/JEQ0260020480?access=0&view=pdf

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