Synthesis of Trinitrotoluene

To a 1-L reflux apparatus filled with 273 g of 99% sulfuric acid, 54.7 g of sodium nitrate is slowly added, an addition of 67 g of 2,4-dinitrotoluene, 1mL at a time over the course of 2 hours is started with stirring. The beaker should be heated at 80°C, the temperature slowly rises to about 125°C and it is kept at the temperature for 2h with stirring, after the stirring the mixture is poured into a beaker with 400g of ice and the crude product is filtered and washed with 600 mL of water. The crude product is then stirred while it’s molten with 400 mL of water, the mixture is cooled down and washed with 400 mL of water. The crude product is recrystallized from warm methanol with some decolorizing activated carbon.


Sodium Nitrate Added to 99 Percent H2SO4

The nitrating mixture

Raising Temperature After Last DNT Addition

End of Hour 2

TNT Floating On Acid

The nitration and stirring

TNT Solidifying On Acid

TNT Crystals Forming and Rising

The crude product crystallizing and solidifying

Melting and Agitating Crude TNT Under Water 3

Washing the molten TNT

Melting and Agitating Crude TNT Under Water 2

Recrystallization of the TNT from warm methanol

TNT Melting Point Greater Than 80C After Recrystallization From Methanol

The recrystallized product

Scroll to top