Amyl nitrate
Overview
 
Amyl nitrate is the chemical compound
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 with the formula
Chemical formula
A chemical formula or molecular formula is a way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound....

 CH3(CH2)4ONO2. This molecule consists of the 5-carbon amyl
Amyl
The word or root amyl has two meanings, in organic chemistry and biochemistry.-Biochemistry:In biochemistry, "amyl" means "pertaining to starch", "amylum" being another word for starch...

 group attached to a nitrate
Nitrate
The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion with the molecular formula NO and a molecular mass of 62.0049 g/mol. It is the conjugate base of nitric acid, consisting of one central nitrogen atom surrounded by three identically-bonded oxygen atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement. The nitrate ion carries a...

 functional group
Functional group
In organic chemistry, functional groups are specific groups of atoms within molecules that are responsible for the characteristic chemical reactions of those molecules. The same functional group will undergo the same or similar chemical reaction regardless of the size of the molecule it is a part of...

. It is the ester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

 of amyl alcohol
Amyl alcohol
An amyl alcohol is any of 8 alcohols with the formula C5H11OH. A mixture of amyl alcohols can be obtained from fusel alcohol. Amyl alcohol is used as a solvent and in esterfication for example in the production of amyl acetate...

 and nitric acid
Nitric acid
Nitric acid , also known as aqua fortis and spirit of nitre, is a highly corrosive and toxic strong acid.Colorless when pure, older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to the accumulation of oxides of nitrogen. If the solution contains more than 86% nitric acid, it is referred to as fuming...

.
Encyclopedia
Amyl nitrate is the chemical compound
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 with the formula
Chemical formula
A chemical formula or molecular formula is a way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound....

 CH3(CH2)4ONO2. This molecule consists of the 5-carbon amyl
Amyl
The word or root amyl has two meanings, in organic chemistry and biochemistry.-Biochemistry:In biochemistry, "amyl" means "pertaining to starch", "amylum" being another word for starch...

 group attached to a nitrate
Nitrate
The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion with the molecular formula NO and a molecular mass of 62.0049 g/mol. It is the conjugate base of nitric acid, consisting of one central nitrogen atom surrounded by three identically-bonded oxygen atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement. The nitrate ion carries a...

 functional group
Functional group
In organic chemistry, functional groups are specific groups of atoms within molecules that are responsible for the characteristic chemical reactions of those molecules. The same functional group will undergo the same or similar chemical reaction regardless of the size of the molecule it is a part of...

. It is the ester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

 of amyl alcohol
Amyl alcohol
An amyl alcohol is any of 8 alcohols with the formula C5H11OH. A mixture of amyl alcohols can be obtained from fusel alcohol. Amyl alcohol is used as a solvent and in esterfication for example in the production of amyl acetate...

 and nitric acid
Nitric acid
Nitric acid , also known as aqua fortis and spirit of nitre, is a highly corrosive and toxic strong acid.Colorless when pure, older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to the accumulation of oxides of nitrogen. If the solution contains more than 86% nitric acid, it is referred to as fuming...

.

Applications

Alkyl nitrates are employed as reagent
Reagent
A reagent is a "substance or compound that is added to a system in order to bring about a chemical reaction, or added to see if a reaction occurs." Although the terms reactant and reagent are often used interchangeably, a reactant is less specifically a "substance that is consumed in the course of...

s in organic synthesis
Organic synthesis
Organic synthesis is a special branch of chemical synthesis and is concerned with the construction of organic compounds via organic reactions. Organic molecules can often contain a higher level of complexity compared to purely inorganic compounds, so the synthesis of organic compounds has...

. Amyl nitrate is used as an additive in diesel fuel, where it acts as an 'ignition improver' by accelerating the ignition of fuel.

See Also

  • poppers
    Poppers
    Poppers is a slang term for various alkyl nitrites inhaled for recreational purposes, particularly isopropyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite , and now more rarely, butyl nitrite and amyl nitrite...

     the recreational drugs
  • amyl nitrite
    Amyl nitrite
    Amyl nitrite is the chemical compound with the formula C5H11ONO. A variety of isomers are known, but they all feature an amyl group attached to the nitrito functional group. The alkyl group is unreactive and the chemical and biological properties are mainly due to the nitrite group...

     a similarly named chemical used to treat heart diseases and cyanide poisoning
    Cyanide poisoning
    Cyanide poisoning occurs when a living organism is exposed to a compound that produces cyanide ions when dissolved in water. Common poisonous cyanide compounds include hydrogen cyanide gas and the crystalline solids potassium cyanide and sodium cyanide...

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