2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene

CAS RN:118-96-7

Reactivities / Incompatibilities

TNT and potassium hydroxide in methanol will interact even at -65 deg C to give explosive acid-nitro salts (presumably o-quinonoid, or possibly Meisenheimer complexes). The explosion temperature is lowered to 160 deg C by the presence of a little potassium hydroxide.
Trinitrotoluene in contact with nitric acid and lead or iron produces explosive substances which may readily be ignited by shock, friction or contact with nitric or sulfuric acids. Such materials have been involved in industrial explosions.
Reacts vigorously with reducing agents
Strong oxidizers, ammonia, strong alkalis, combustible materials, heat [Note: Rapid heating will result in detonation].
During investigation of effect of 1% of added impurities on the thermal explosion temperature of TNT (197 deg C), it was found that fresh red lead, sodium carbonate and potassium hydroxide reduced the explosion temperatures to 192, 218, 192 deg C, respectively.
The formation of aci-quinonoid transient intermediates by electronic excitation has been identified spectroscopically. Proton abstractors (bases) such as sodium hydroxide, potassium iodide or tetramethylammonium octahydrotriborate induce deflagration in molten TNT.
During oxidation of TNT in sulfuric acid to trinitrobenzoic acid, starring of the viscous reaction mixture must be very effective to prevent added portions of solid dichromate causing local ignition.
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