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Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 121142
CASRN 121-14-2
Synonyms2,4-Dinitrotoluene
Benzene, 1-methyl-2,4-dinitro
2,4-DNT
Analytical Methods EPA Method 609
EPA Method 625
EPA Method 8270
Molecular FormulaC7H6N2O4

Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details on this compound.

Use CHEM INT FOR TOLUENE-2,4-DIAMINE, A TOLUENEDIISOCYANATE INT; GELATINIZING & WATERPROOFING AGENT IN EXPLOSIVES; CHEM INT FOR DYES (FORMER USE) Used by the munition industry as a modifier for smokeless powders. 2,4-Dinitrotoluene is used to prepare 2,4-toluenediisocyanate by catalysed hydrogenation followed by phosgenation. Used as an explosives intermediate, rubber chemical and plastics manufacture. Used as a plasticizer in moderate and high explosives.
Consumption Patterns Manufacture of toluene diisocyanate consumes much of the 2,4-DNT produced. In 1976, 560 million lb of toluene diisocyanate was produced. This production consumed roughly 389 million lb of toluene. A total of 389 million lb of toluene would produce approximately 740 million lb of 2,4-DNT, assuming 96% yield.
Apparent Color YELLOW NEEDLES OR MONOCLINIC PRISMS
Odor SLIGHT ODOR
Boiling Point 300 DEG C WITH SLIGHT DECOMP
Melting Point 71 DEG C
Molecular Weight 182.14
Density 1.3208 g/ml @ 71 DEG C
Sensitivity Data Immediately irritating to the eye. Dinitrotoluene
Environmental Impact A major use of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) is in making 2,4-diaminotoluene. Dinitrotoluenes are also used in organic synthesis, dyes, explosives and as a propellant additive. 2,4-DNT may enter the environment in wastewater from the processes in which it is made and used. In soil, 2,4-DNT will be slightly mobile (estimated Koc= 282). Based on aqueous biodegradation tests, 2,4-DNT may biodegrade in both aerobic and anaerobic zones of soil. 2,4-DNT in water will not bioconcentrate significantly (experimental BCF=204) and will have a slight tendency to partition to suspended and sediment organic matter (log Kow= 1.98). Volatilization of 2,4-DNT from water will not be significant. Photolysis will probably be the most important removal process for 2,4-DNT in water. Photolytic half-lives for 2,4-DNT in river, bay and pond waters were 2.7, 9.6 and 3.7 hr, respectively. One source gave a theoretical half-life of 11 hr for 2,4-DNT in natural waters while another estimated the half-life as 1.7 days in the Rhine River. This reaction was found to be accelerated in the presence of humic material. The importance of biodegradation in natural waters is unknown, although a number of conflicting screening test results are available. In the atmosphere, 2,4-DNT is estimated to have a half-life of 71 days. 2,4-DNT has been detected in drinking water, seawater, river water, and in wastewater from 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene production.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: The estimated soil adsorption coefficient (Koc) for 2,4-DNT is 282 which indicates that it is slightly mobile in soil . Aromatic nitro compounds are not susceptible to hydrolysis and photolysis should not be an important process in soil. No information was found on 2,4-DNT biodegradation in soil; however, based on aqueous biodegradation experiments, some biodegradation may occur in both aerobic and anaerobic zones of soil. AQUATIC FATE: The measured log Kow value for 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) is 1.98 , indicating that 2,4-dinitrotoluene will have a slight tendency to sorb to sediments, suspended solids, and biota. The volatilization rate constant for 2,4-dinitrotoluene from a body of water was estimated as 6.6X10-5/hr (half-life = 438 days) . This estimate indicates that volatilization of 2,4-dinitrotoluene from waters will probably not be a significant transport process. Photolysis is probably the most significant removal process for 2,4-DNT in water. The photolytic half-lives for 2,4-dinitrotoluene in river, bay and pond waters were 2.7, 9.6, and 3.7 hr, respectively . Biodegradation data are inconsistent. 2,4-dinitrotoluene, as the sole carbon and energy source, did not degrade in an aerobic batch culture after 14 days of incubation at an initial 2,4-dinitrotoluene concentration of 5-25 mg/l and inoculated with municipal activated sludge . Another study found that natural surface water microorganisms could use 10 ppm 2,4-dinitrotoluene as a sole carbon source . 2,4-dinitrotoluene degraded slowly under anaerobic conditions . Aromatic nitro compounds are not susceptible to hydrolysis . In one experiment, 2,4-dinitrotoluene concentration did not change after 2 weeks incubation in sterile, natural water . One source gave a theoretical half-life for 2,4-dinitrotoluene in natural waters as 11.0 hr(6), while another estimated the half-life of 2,4-dinitrotoluene as 1.7 days in the Rhine River(7), the latter being based upon monitored data. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: An estimated rate constant for the gas-phase reaction of 2,4-dinitrotoluene with photochemcially produced hydroxyl radicals of 2.253X10-13 cu cm/molecule-sec(1,SRC) corresponds to a half-life of 71 days using an average atmospheric hydroxyl radicals concn of 5X10 5 molec/cu cm . Aquatic Fate: Oxidation of the methyl group of 2,4-dinitrotoluene by aqueous hydroxyl radical or dissolved oxygen is a distinct environmental possibility. Further oxidation leads to a mixture of oxidation products. Since it is highly probable that 2,4-dinitrotoluene will be adsorbed by suspended clay particles, these reactions are environmentally feasible on the clay surface, inasmuch as this surface provides basic reaction sites for ionization.
Drinking Water Impact DRINKING WATER: 2,4-Dinitrotoluene was found in drinking water at an unspecified concentration and location . SURFACE WATER: 2,4-Dinitrotoluene was found in Dokai Bay, Japan at concentrations up to 206 ug/l and in Rhine River water (The Netherlands) at 0.3 ug/l . 2,4-Dinitrotoluene was listed as a compound detected in the Great Lakes Erie and Michigan , data and concentration not specified(3-4). 2,4-Dinitrotoluene was detected in water samples obtained from Potomac River near Qauntico, VA, in the spring of 1986 at a concn of <10 ug/l . 2,4-Dinitrotoluene concns of 3.1 and 13.0 ug/l were detected in surface water samples collected from two brooks near Hischagen/Waldhof, Germany in the vicinity of munitions manufacture durning World War II(6); the river into which the borooks feed (River Losse) had a concn of 0.5 ug/l(6); two ponds in the Clausthal-Zealand region of Germany (again near previous munitions manufacture) had levels of 1.2 and 0.8 ug/l(6); the ponds feed into the River Oder which had a level of 0.02 ug/l(6); concns at three locations of the River Elbe ranged from 0.1 to 1.3 ug/l(6). GROUNDWATER: 2,4-Dinitrotoluene was qualitatively detected in groundwater samples near a munitions plant in Grand Island, NE, date not provided . EFFL: EFFLUENT: 2,4-Dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) was found in condensate wastewater from 2,4,5-trinitrotoluene manufacture at an unspecified concentration and in wastewater from 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene production at an average concentration of 9.7 mg/l . According to the USEPA STORET database, 2,4-dinitrotoluene was detected in 1.4% of 1,243 effluent samples at a median concentration of <10 ug/l . The average concentration of 2,4-dinitrotoluene in effluent of the Volunteer Army ammunition plant was 14.7% mg/l, data not given .

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