A laboratory method is to mix solutions of sodium nitromethane, CH 2: NO(ONa), and mercuric chloride, a yellow basic salt being formed at the same time.
Ag ?HC 'OH ?H CO 2 H-f-H 2 N OH, and also on the production from sodium nitromethane and mercuric chloride, thus CH 2: NO Ohg - > H 2 O -I-C: NOhg (hg = 2 Hg).
This readily gave with silver nitrite a nitromethane in which we may suppose the nitro-group to replace the a hydrogen atom, i.e.
This acid with silver nitrite gave nitroacetic acid, which readily gave the second nitromethane, CH a (NO 2) b H c H d, identical with the first nitromethane.
This acid gives with silver nitrite the corresponding nitromalonic acid, which readily yielded the third nitromethane, CHaHb(N02),Hd, also identical with the first.
When methyl iodide is used, nitromethane is the sole product, but the higher homologues give more or less of the isomeric nitrous esters.
Nitromethane, CH 3 NO 2, is a colourless oil which boils at 101° C. Fuming sulphuric acid decomposes it into carbon monoxide and hydroxylamine.
The ketone, dihydroxyacetone, CH 2 OH CO CH 2 OH, was obtained by Piloty by condensing formaldehyde with nitromethane, reducing to a hydroxylamino compound, which is oxidized to the oxime of dihydroxyacetone; the ketone is liberated by oxidation with bromine water: 3H CHO + CH 3 NO 2 -- (CH 2 OH) 3 C NO 2 - (CH 2 OH) 3 C NH OH -- (CH 2 OH) 2 C: NOH - > (CH20H)2CO.