Minerals, Metals, and Other Materials

Man-Made Products

What is the chemical formula for TNT?

TNT is the abbreviation for 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene [C7H5N3O6 or C6H2(CH3)(NO2)3]. TNT is a powerful, highly explosive compound widely used in conventional bombs. Discovered by Joseph Wilbrand (1811–1894) in 1863, it is made by treating toluene with nitric acid and sulfuric acid. This yellow crystalline solid with a low melting point has low shock sensitivity and even burns without exploding. This makes it safe to handle and cast; but once detonated, it explodes violently.


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