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Template:Chembox header | Nitroethane
File:Nitroethane.svg Nitroethane
Template:Chembox header | General
Systematic name nitroethane
Other names
Molecular formula C2H5NO2
Molar mass 75.08 g/mol
Appearance/attributes colorless liquid with a characteristic sweet odor
CAS number [79-24-3]
Template:Chembox header | Properties
Density and phase 1.054 g/cm3, liquid
Solubility in water slightly soluble (4.6g/100ml at 20°C)
Melting point -90 °C (183 K)
Boiling point 112.0 - 116.0 °C (~387 K)
Acidity (pKa)
Viscosity 0.677 Pa.s at 20 °C
Template:Chembox header | Hazards
Main hazards Flammable, harmful
NFPA 704 Template:NFPA 704
Flash point 28 °C
R/S statement
RTECS number KI5600000
UN number UN 2842
Template:Chembox header | Related compounds
Related nitro compounds nitromethane
Related compounds ethyl nitrite
ethyl nitrate
Template:Chembox header | Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox disclaimer and references

Nitroethane is an organic compound having the chemical formula C2H5NO2. Similar in many regards to nitromethane, nitroethane is an oily liquid at standard temperature and pressure. Pure nitroethane is colourless, and has a fruity odor. It is a high volume chemical, with over 1 million pounds of nitroethane being produced or imported into the United States of America per year.[1]


Nitroethane is most commonly used as a solvent for artificial polymers such as styrene, and particularly for dissolving cyanoacrylate adhesives.[2] It has been used as a component in artificial nail remover and in overhead ceiling sealant sprays, although it is not common in such applications. Nitroethane is also used as a fuel additive for increasing the octane rating of gasoline, as a pure fuel in certain drag racing vehicles, and as a propellant.[3]

In addition, nitroethane finds use as a reagent in various syntheses, primarily in organic chemistry (for example, in the artificial synthesis of piperonal and phenylacetone) and for production of pharmaceutical compounds. Among the compounds for which nitroethane is useful, both methamphetamine and MDMA may be synthesized using nitroethane as an essential precursor; for this reason, nitroethane has been designated a List I precursor chemical under the Controlled Substances Act in the USA.


Nitroethane is suspected for damage to the genes and nervous system. Typical TLV/TWA 100 ppm. Typical STEL 150 ppm. Skin contact with nitroethane is known to cause dermatitis in human beings; and in animal studies, the effects of nitroethane exposure were observed to include lacrimation; dyspnea, pulmonary rales, edema; liver, kidney injury; and narcosis.[4]

Also, there have been instances of nitroethane poisoning in children due to accidental ingestion of artificial nail remover.[5]

The LD50 for rats is reported as 1100 mg/kg.[6]


External links

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