A Streamlined Process to Generate Nitroaromatic Compounds

Technology #ua14-077

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Eugene Mash, Jr.
Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Bhumasamudram Jagadish
Scientist, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Managed By
Laura Silva

Title: A Streamlined Process to Generate Nitroaromatic Compounds

Invention: Methods for nitration of aromatic compounds often include additives, such as zeolites, putative catalysts, and are carried out in a non-participatory solvent (1) . To add more than one nitro group, forcing conditions are often used. Mixtures often result, and the percent yield for a desired compound is sometimes low (2). This invention addresses these issues. The invention is a new, one-step, streamlined synthetic process used in the nitration of aromatic compounds. In practice this novel synthetic method has been used to prepare 2,4-dinitroanisole, a high energy compound with superior resistance to heat and shock. This compound can have uses in the mining and construction (roads, bridges, etc) industries. Other compounds that can be formed using the invented reaction include: nitrobenzene, which can be used as an ingredient in analgesics (3), dinitrotoluene which is a common plasticizer (4), dinitronaphthalene can be used as a dye5, and dinitrophenol has uses as a herbicide (6).


The reaction can be used to speed up and lend greater economy to many other chemical synthesis pathways that would otherwise require more time, effort, and materials. In practice it could add nitro groups to a variety of aromatic compounds, which could then each have different applications. These applications range from mining, to construction, to medicine, to plasticizing, to dyes.


  • The reaction requires one step, the overall process (including workup and putification) being as fast or faster than other routes for comparable nitration.
  • The necessary reagents are relatively low cost, and additives, catalysts, and non-participatory solvents are generally avoided.
  • The chemical yield of the process is commonly at least 80%, superior to some other offerings.

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