<h1>Isopropyl Nitrite Synthesis 2.0</h1>
by Drone #342
This is the sort of version 2.0 of my synthesis. The only difference
is that I include all the appropriate quantitites -- thus making it a
complete report on the best way I've found to make this fascinating
compound. I liked the way I originally wrote it, so I'll keep the rest
same as when originally written.
Its been months since I had this dream, but in an alcoholic stupor,
I passed out, smacking my head against the floor. In my delerious
had a dream.
In my vision, a leprechaun was sitting on a giant toadstool, reading
UF's SOMM. He read the bit about making alkyl nitrites
, clapped his
hands, and said "Saints preserve us! I'm going to me me a wee bit o'
the old isopropyl nitrite!" In a mad dash, the plucky little imp ran to
pot-o-gold, took out a few coins, and ran off to the grocery store,
where he purchased some distilled water and regular 91% IPA. He put the
the freezer, and went on with his business. He then dashed off over the
rainbow, and came back with a package of sodium nitrite and a bottle of
lab-grade sulfuric acid. He put the sulfuric acid in the refrigerator.
He sat down, and redid the "recipe" in the book, converting the butyl
recipe into a isopropyl-based version. He then went about labelling two
beakers, one "A", the other "B". In beaker "A", he disolved the sodium
nitrite (95 g) in H2O (375 ml), then placed it in the freezer. In "B",
he mixed the alcohol
(83 ml of 91% iPrOH) with a small amount of water
distilled H2O), and then slowly added the concentrated H2SO4 (34 ml),
doing his best to keep boiling to a minemum. After the addition, he put
"B" into the freezer, and went about taking a nap.
At this point, I began to come to my senses. I stood up, thought
"what a peculiar dream" and went back to my self-destructive marathon
binge-drinking. When I finally slipped into my potato vodka-induced
coma, I began dreaming right where I left off.
The little leprechaun woke up, looked at his wee digital wristwatch,
and said in a cute little Irisg leprechaun voice, "Fer FUCK's SAKE!
overslept!" In a hurried dash, he went to the freezer, and saw that
beaker "A" was essentially a sodium nitrite-flavored slushy. "Bleargh!"
started swearing violently in Gaelic, and I noticed flowers wilted
around him as a result of the sound of whatever nasty things he was
In a fit of fury, he placed beaker "A" in an ice bath, tossed the
now thoroughly-chilled acidic IPA contents of beaker "B" into the
nitrite slurry of beaker "A", and began stirring madly. "...And Mary
wept!", he cursed. He did not add it slowly; he just tossed it right
The reaction was pretty immediate, and when the little fellow came to
his senses, he realized how foolish it was to add everthing so quickly
all, everybody says "add it slowly, so as to not allow the temperature
to rise too quickly." Well, the funny little mythical character looked
solution, in a matter of seconds, a very nice layer of isopropyl
nitrite floated to the top. It was decanted and dried. The yield was
85%-90%, from the nitrite. He was so happy, he did a little jig in
celebration. The fumes of the nitrite got to him, and soon he was
MUCH slower. All the blood from his wee body rushed into his jugulars,
and he left the room so he could catch his breath. "Saints be
praised!", and he
slumped over. The little leprechaun sat and thought about what he
learned: by simply chilling everything in the freezer before mixing,
and using an
external icebath, a person can get better yeilds simply by recklessly
pouring the two solutions together than by following the advise of
Fester. All-in-all, the little chemical leprechaun had a good day.
At that point, I woke up, rolled over, evacuated the contents of my
stomach using my right index finger, and went back to sleep; truly it
interesting dream, but having a head injury and a hangover left me
unable to enjoy the insights that it gave me.
Still, I thought you'd all enjoy hearing it.
<hr>I have done this synthisis a few times as well as once where I just
guessed the proportions, the all worked but the yield and quility of
the product varied if you stray from properporpotrions. Ideally
this is done using an addition funnel and the acid is added to
the alc/nitrite mix slowly (10 min). A presure equalized addition
funnel would be nice too as the product has a very high vapor pressure
and will bubble back through your funnel. I had to vent the flash
by adding a Y between the flask and the funnel. I would recomend
that you scale this reaction down because you will always end up
throughing the last of the stuff away. I have found that the
stuff lasts much longer if kept in the freezer (at least the bulk of
it). It is also essential to seperate the polar (watery crap on
bottom) from the oily yellow product on top, because it emmits
nasty brown (Nitric Oxide yuk) fumes. There are 2 ways to do
this, if you have a seperatory funnel you may do ti that way or you can
just put the whole mix back in the freezer and the aquous portion will
go into a brick of slush so you can just pour off the oil on top. you
should also pour it over a blob of anahydrous magnesium sulfate to
remove any water dissolved in it. I also think that adding a
little iso propyl to the product once it is isolated helps it
last. Any bottles or glassware you use should be chilled first to
avoid evaporating the product. The product has a distintive sweet