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Author: Subject: Could nitration of cellulose proceed more quickly in acetone?
John paul III
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[*] posted on 2-4-2020 at 07:13
Could nitration of cellulose proceed more quickly in acetone?


Since acetone dissolves nitrocellulose, It could theoritically speed up the nitration, as it would bring the less nitrated chains into solution allowing complete nitration faster. Also I imagine the inner chains of a cellulose fiber have worse access to the nitrating agent, so the removal of outer layers of NC would improve penetration of the reactants.
I'll give it a try, especially since my previous NC syntheses resulted in a product that leaves too much ash, unless there's additional safety concerns over normal nitration (beside using flammable VO solvent)
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TheMrbunGee
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[*] posted on 2-4-2020 at 07:30


Not an nitrating expert, but I am pretty sure, that acetone will react with nitrating mix, probably causing runaway.



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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 2-4-2020 at 07:36


Mhh, probably not.

Low % NC doesnt dissolve that well in acetone.
Urbanski has a fantastic chapter on NC, what solvents are used in different conditions.

Speaking about conditions: From memory, an "ideal" nitrating mixture should contain around 8-12% of water at the beginning of the nitration.
That's pretty much concentrated acid that you'll need to cool a lot if you want to avoid a runaway with acetone.
First, by cooling that much you'll be slowing the reaction rate
Second, you'll make the mixture more viscous probably hindering the effect you are trying to obtain.




The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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rockyit98
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[*] posted on 2-4-2020 at 20:39


why not Xylene ? after all it's called and sold as "NC Thinner" for that reason.



a lot less people died from radioactivity related illness before the discovery of radioactivity.
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 3-4-2020 at 13:48


Wouldnt you be better off trying another type of cellulose ?

I've never tried MCC but reports seem to indicate it doesnt burn as well as expected. It might be good for lacquer though.

If achievable I dont think your idea would really or only make the reaction much faster but maybe make it more complete resulting in higher nitrated NC.
Humm... I think I'll read that chapter in Urbanski's book.




The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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Metacelsus
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[*] posted on 3-4-2020 at 16:17


Quote: Originally posted by rockyit98  
why not Xylene ? after all it's called and sold as "NC Thinner" for that reason.


Xylene would also react with nitric acid.




As below, so above.
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NonEthicalPyrotechnics
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[*] posted on 4-4-2020 at 17:05


Maybe you could try using powdered cellulose in the nitration. Lightly stir it during the entirety of the nitration.
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