Solvent-Free and Additive-Free Nitration of Arenes

Case ID:

University of Arizona researchers have developed a novel, one-step, catalyst-free, and solvent-free synthetic process for the nitration of aromatic compounds. This method has been used to prepare 2,4-dinitroanisole, an alternative to trinitrotoluene (TNT), as an ingredient in melt-cast explosive formulations; and dinitrophenyl ethers. This synthetic process can be utilized to produce a variety of nitroaromatic compounds in a fast, straightforward, and more economical fashion than traditional chemical methods.


Traditional synthetic nitration methods often employ catalysts, solvents, or other additives that are harmful to the environment and/or expensive. This synthetic process overcomes these issues by allowing the nitration of various aromatic compounds in a catalyst-free and solvent-free fashion.



  • Explosives for mining, construction or military purposes
  • Metabolic disease therapeutics
  • Fermentation process aid
  • Herbicides


  • Requires only one step
  • Maintains a highly selective process
  • Does not require the use of a solvent, therefore reducing cost
  • Does not require the use of expensive, harsh, or toxic catalysts
  • Exhibits increased efficiency over other reported methodologies
  • Retains a broad reaction scope 
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Jonathan Larson
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Science
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Eugene Mash, Jr.
Bhumasamudram Jagadish