Effect of temperature and selected additives on the decomposition "onset" of 2-nitrotoluene using Advanced Reactive System Screening Tool Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Elsevier Ltd 2-nitrotoluene (2-NT) is an important industrial chemical. However, in the past 25 years, serious incidents owing to its thermal decomposition have killed 10 people and injured more than 200. This research focuses on the thermal decomposition of 2-NT using the Advanced Reactive System Screening Tool (ARSST) to better understand the mechanisms that result in its explosion. Key parameters such as onset temperature, onset pressure, self-heat rate, and pressure rate are were studied. The influence of certain additives were investigated on these parameters. The results show the 2-NT decomposition reaction goes through two macroscopic decomposition stages, the first having an onset of around 300 C and the second at about 400 C. Unfortunately, part of the substrate evaporates during measurements with this technique, thus it was impossible to evaluate the enthalpy of the reaction and the effect of the sample size on the rate of decomposition or kinetic parameters. Additives such as Na2SO4 or NaNO3 increased the decomposition onset temperature by approximately 30 C, while KOH or NaOH reduced it by over 100 C.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, W., Papadaki, M. I., Han, Z., & Mashuga, C. V.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Wen||Papadaki, Maria I||Han, Zhe||Mashuga, Chad V

publication date

  • January 2017