Synthesis of Nitroethane via Victor Meyer reaction

Under and salt and ice bath combine 100 g of silver nitrite and 150 mL of dry ether, wait until the sludge cools down to 0°C. When the sludge is cool, start adding dropwise 40 mL of ethyl iodide over 2h a period of time. The temperature should be 0°C at all times when adding the ethyl iodide. Then stir for 24 h in the ice bath and 24h at room temperature. Then filter and wash the precipitated silver iodide with some dry ether. The silver and iodine can be recovered from the silver iodide waste. Then distill off the ether under a water bath. And then you are left with pale yellow “oily” crude nitroethane. Then redistill and discard everything that comes off below 100°C. The yield is about 83%



Silver nitrite ether sludge


Addition of ethyl iodide with vigorous stirring


Stirring in an ice bath for 24h


Stirring at room temperature for 24h


Filtering and washing with some ether


Distilling off the ether in a water bath


Distilling the nitroethane from the crude product


Pure nitroethane

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