Demonstration of m-dinitrobenzene

Chemicals needed

benzene GSGiftig.gif (734 Byte) T GSLEICHT.gif (932 Byte) F    R 45-11-48/23/24/25      S 53-45

nitric acid 65% GSATZEND.gif (935 Byte) C    R 35     S (1/2)-23-26-27

sulphuric acid 96%  GSATZEND.gif (935 Byte) C    R 35   S (1/2)-26-30-45

Information concerning dangerous substances

nitrating acid GSBRANDF.gif (891 Byte) O GSATZEND.gif (935 Byte) C    R 8-35     S (2)-23-26-30-36-45

nitrobenzene GSGiftig.gif (734 Byte) T GSUMWELT.gif (758 Byte)  N    R 23/24/25-40-48/23/24-51/53-62    S (1/2)-28-36/37-45-61

dinitrobenzene GSGiftig.gif (734 Byte) T+ GSUMWELT.gif (758 Byte)  N    R 26/27/28-33-50/53-62    S (1/2)-28-36/37-45-60-61

Equipment needed

test tube
test tube holder
burner (preferably alcohol)

Test procedure



At first (mono-)nitrobenzene is formed (cf. Demonstration of nitrobenzene). Inasmuch as nitrobenzene is still less activated, a further nitration is only successful under sharp conditions (heat). The nitro group deactivates in particular the o- and p-positions of the ring, therefore essentially the m-product is obtained.

Nitrobenzene (left) and m- or 1,3-dinitrobenzene (right)


The reaction mixture at the beginning, benzene floats on top.

Nitrogen oxide colors the organic phase brown when the mixture has warmed.

Upon further heating nitrogen oxide escapes, in addition the acid is markedly discolored.

The product precipitates.


cf. experiment 1952S "m-Dinitrobenzol", p. 329, [2]