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Mononitrotoluene, or methylnitrobenzene or nitrotoluene (MNT or NT), is an organic compound, a nitro compound derivate of toluene (or alternatively a methyl derivate of nitrobenzene). Its chemical formula is C6H4(CH3)(NO2).

Mononitrotoluene comes in three isomers, differing by the relative position of the methyl and nitro groups:

  • ortho-nitrotoluene (ONT), o-nitrotoluene, or 2-nitrotoluene, CAS number [88-72-2]. It is a pale yellow liquid with a subtle, characteristic smell. It is non-hygroscopic and noncorrosive. Its melting point is -9.3 °C and its boiling point is 222 °C. It is toxic.
  • meta-nitrotoluene (MNT), m-nitrotoluene, or 3-nitrotoluene, CAS number [99-08-1]. It is a yellowish-greenish to yellow liquid with weak fragrance. Its melting point is 16.1 °C.
  • para-nitrotoluene (PNT), p-nitrotoluene, or 4-nitrotoluene, CAS number [99-99-0]. It is a pale yellow material forming rhombic crystals. Its melting point is 51.7 °C and its boiling point is 238.3 °C. It is almost insoluble in water.

Typical use of nitrotoluene is in production of pigments, antioxidants, agricultural chemicals, and photographic chemicals.

ortho-Mononitrotoluene and para-mononitrotoluene can be also used as detection taggants for explosive detection.

See also