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Mono and poly-nitrated aromatic compounds are used to make products in a variety of industries. The reactions that produce them are often highly exothermic and present a very high risk of thermal runaway. Recent work has shown that nitrobenzene can form 3 phase systems with concentrated sulfuric acid, including an emulsion phase. This emulsion formation, if it also occurs with other mono-nitrated aromatic compounds, has significant implications on the overall kinetics and behavior of such systems. Tests were performed to determine if nitrotoluene exhibits similar phase behavior as observed previously with nitrobenzene and if steric effects resulting from additional functional groups and different isomers interacting will affect the emulsion behavior. The results of this study may allow for the identification of Quantitative Structure Property Relationships (QSPR) which will predict the formation of the emulsions in the system, then facilitating greater understanding of dynamic behavior of Mononitrotoluene (MNT) and Dinitrotoluene (DNT) producing reactors and improved process safety.
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