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Systematic name nitroethane
Other names
Molecular formula C2H5NO2
Molar mass 75.08 g/mol
Appearance/attributes colorless liquid with a characteristic sweet odor
CAS number [79-24-3]
Density and phase 1.054 g/cm3, liquid
Solubility in water slightly soluble (4.6 g/100 ml at 20°C)
Melting point -90 °C (183 K)
Boiling point 112.0–116.0 °C (385.2–389.2 K)
Acidity (pKa)
Viscosity 0.677 Pa·s at 20 °C
Main hazards Flammable, harmful
NFPA 704
Flash point 28 °C
R/S statement
RTECS number KI5600000
UN number UN 2842
Related compounds
Related nitro compounds nitromethane
Related compounds ethyl nitrite
ethyl nitrate
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox disclaimer and references

Nitroethane is an organic compound having the chemical formula C2H5NO2. Similar in many regards to nitromethane, nitroethane is an oily liquid at standard temperature and pressure. Pure nitroethane is colourless, and has a fruity odor. It is a high volume chemical, with over 1 million pounds of nitroethane being produced or imported into the United States of America per year.[1]


Nitroethane is most commonly used as a solvent for artificial polymers such as styrene, and particularly for dissolving cyanoacrylate adhesives.[2] It has been used as a component in artificial nail remover and in overhead ceiling sealant sprays, although it is not common in such applications. Nitroethane is also used as a fuel additive for increasing the octane rating of gasoline, as a pure fuel in certain drag racing vehicles, and as a propellant.

In addition, nitroethane finds use as a reagent in various chemical syntheses, primarily in the production of pharmaceutical compounds.


Nitroethane is suspected for damage to the genes and nervous system. Typical TLV/TWA 100 ppm. Typical STEL 150 ppm. Skin contact with nitroethane is known to cause dermatitis in human beings; and in animal studies, the effects of nitroethane exposure were observed to include lacrimation; dyspnea, pulmonary rales, edema; liver, kidney injury; and narcosis.[3]

Also, there have been instances of nitroethane poisoning in children due to accidental ingestion of artificial nail remover.[4]

The LD50 for rats is reported as 1100 mg/kg.[5]


  1. ^ SCORECARD chemical profile.
  2. ^ de Souza et al., "(Liquid + liquid) equilibria of (polystyrene + nitroethane). Molecular weight, pressure, and isotope effects." The Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics, Volume 32, Number 3, March 2000, pp. 355-387(33).
  3. ^ [ "Chemical Sampling Information Nitroethane." Retrieved February 9, 2007, from the website of the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration.]
  4. ^ C.S. Hornfeldt et al. "Nitroethane poisoning from an artificial fingernail remover." J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1994;32(3):321-4. (from PubMed)
  5. ^ MSDS for nitroethane (revised October 3, 2005), as reported by Fisher Scientific.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nitroethane". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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