Title: Tetranitromethane
CAS Registry Number: 509-14-8
Molecular Formula: CN4O8
Molecular Weight: 196.03
Percent Composition: C 6.13%, N 28.58%, O 65.29%
Line Formula: C(NO2)4
Literature References: Prepd by nitration of acetic anhydride with anhydrous nitric acid: Liang, Org. Synth. coll. vol. III, p 803 (1955).
Properties: Pale yellow liquid. d425 1.6229; d425 1.638 (tech). mp 13.8°. bp760 126°; bp25.8 40°; bp14.9 30°; bp8.4 20°; bp5.7 13.8°; bp1.9 0°. nD20 1.4384; nD25 1.4358. Viscosity at 20° = 1.76 cP. Energy of decompn: Tschinkel, Ind. Eng. Chem. 48, 732 (1956). Insol in water. Freely sol in alcohol, ether, alcoholic KOH. Attacks iron, copper, brass, zinc, rubber. Highly explosive in the presence of impurities.
Melting point: mp 13.8°
Boiling point: bp760 126°; bp25.8 40°; bp14.9 30°; bp8.4 20°; bp5.7 13.8°; bp1.9
Index of refraction: nD20 1.4384; nD25 1.4358
Density: d425 1.6229; d425 1.638 (tech)
CAUTION: Potential symptoms of overexposure are irritation of eyes, skin, nose and throat; dizziness, headache; chest pain, dyspnea; methemoglobinuria, cyanosis; skin burns. See NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (DHHS/NIOSH 97-140, 1997) p 304. See also Patty's Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology vol. 2A, G. D. Clayton, F. E. Clayton, Eds. (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 4th ed., 1994) 614-617. This substance is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen: Report on Carcinogens, Eleventh Edition (PB2005-104914, 2004) p III-246.
Use: Oxidizer in rocket propellants. As explosive in admixture with toluene. To increase cetane number of diesel fuels. Reagent for detecting the presence of double bonds in organic compds and for mild nitrations. Has been proposed as irritant war gas.

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