| IUPAC name
| Other names
2,4,6-Trinitromethylbenzene, 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene, TNT, Trilite, Tolite, Trinol, Trotyl, Tritolo, Tritolol, Triton, Tritone, Trotol, Trinitrotoluol
|Molar mass||227.13 g/mol|
|Appearance||Pale yellow solid|
|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)|
|Safety data sheet||Zaryachem|
|Flash point||167 °C|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (Median dose)
| 795 mg/kg (rat, oral)|
660 (mouse, oral)
| Picric acid|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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.
TNT will burn if ignited, but requires a blasting cap to detonate it.
TNT is a yellowish solid, insoluble in water but readily soluble in organic solvents.
TNT is a relative insensitive explosive, with a RE factor of 1.00 and a detonation velocity of 6900 m/s.
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.
TNT can be prepared by nitrating toluene to mononitrotoluene, then dinitrotoluene and finally trinitrotoluene using a nitrating mixture. The synthesis process is fairly complex.
- Make blasting charge
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".
TNT should be stored in closed containers, away from any source of hazard.
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.
- TNT: Trinitrotoluenes and Mono- and Dinitrotoluenes, Their Manufacture and Properties, 1918, by G. Carlton Smith