Chemical plant explosion endangers Ukrainians

An airstrike hits a tank filled with nitric acid in SievierodonetskLuhansk Oblast, prompting the region’s governor to ask residents to remain inside bomb shelters due to the risk of exposure to toxic fumes. 

Being a powerful oxidizing acid, nitric acid reacts with many organic materials, and the reactions may be explosive.

The hydroxyl group will typically strip a hydrogen from the organic molecule to form water, and the remaining nitro group takes the hydrogen’s place. Nitration of organic compounds with nitric acid is the primary method of synthesis of many common explosives, such as nitroglycerin and trinitrotoluene (TNT).

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