From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia


2-Nitropropane (2-NP) is an organic compound with the chemical formula C3H7NO2. It is a colorless liquid with a fruity odor and is used primarily as a solvent in various industrial applications, including in paints, varnishes, and inks. 2-Nitropropane is also utilized as a chemical intermediate in the synthesis of other compounds.

Properties[edit | edit source]

2-Nitropropane is a nitroalkane that is flammable and has a boiling point of 120-121 °C. It is slightly soluble in water but mixes well with most organic solvents. The presence of the nitro group (NO2) attached to the propane chain makes 2-NP a reactive compound, capable of undergoing various chemical reactions, including reduction and condensation.

Production[edit | edit source]

2-Nitropropane is produced industrially by the nitration of propane using a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids. This process can yield a mixture of nitropropane isomers, from which 2-nitropropane is separated through fractional distillation.

Uses[edit | edit source]

The primary use of 2-nitropropane is as a solvent in the manufacture of paints, varnishes, and inks, where it helps to improve the application properties and drying times. It is also used as a solvent in the pharmaceutical industry and in the synthesis of pesticides, dyes, and other organic compounds. Additionally, 2-NP serves as a starting material in the synthesis of 2-amino propane and other chemicals.

Health and Safety[edit | edit source]

Exposure to 2-nitropropane can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. It is considered a potential occupational hazard in industries where it is used. Health effects from exposure can include respiratory irritation, headaches, dizziness, and in severe cases, liver damage. 2-Nitropropane has been classified as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Regulation[edit | edit source]

Due to its health and environmental risks, the use and handling of 2-nitropropane are regulated in many countries. Regulations may include limits on workplace exposure levels, requirements for protective equipment, and guidelines for safe storage and disposal.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

2-Nitropropane can contribute to air and water pollution if not properly managed. It is volatile and can enter the atmosphere, where it may participate in photochemical reactions leading to the formation of ground-level ozone and other air pollutants. In water, it can be harmful to aquatic life.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD