Pure nitromethane, also known as CH3NO2, is a volatile and highly flammable liquid. It is an organic compound with a nitro group (-NO2) attached to a methane (CH4) molecule. Nitromethane is commonly used as a solvent, fuel additive, and in various industrial applications.
1. Racing Fuel: Nitromethane is commonly used as a fuel in various motorsports, particularly in drag racing and model engines. It has a high energy content, allowing engines to produce more power. Typically, racing fuels contain a mixture of nitromethane with other components like methanol.
2. Solvent: Nitromethane is a versatile solvent and is used in various industries for dissolving or extracting compounds. It is particularly effective in dissolving oils, resins, waxes, and plastics.
3. Explosives and Propellants: Nitromethane is a key ingredient in the production of explosives and propellants. It is often used in combination with other compounds to create powerful explosives such as dynamite or in rocket propellants.
4. Cleaning Agent: Nitromethane is used as a cleaning agent for electronics and optics due to its solvent properties. It can effectively remove dirt, oils, and other contaminants from sensitive surfaces.
It is important to note that pure nitromethane is highly reactive and should be handled with caution. It is sensitive to heat, shock, and friction, and can explode under certain conditions. Proper safety precautions and handling procedures should be followed when working with or storing nitromethane.