A laboratory method is to mix solutions of sodium nitromethane, CH 2: NO(ONa), and mercuric chloride, a yellow basic salt being formed at the same time.
Ag ?HC 'OH ?H CO 2 H-f-H 2 N OH, and also on the production from sodium nitromethane and mercuric chloride, thus CH 2: NO Ohg - > H 2 O -I-C: NOhg (hg = 2 Hg).
This acid with silver nitrite gave nitroacetic acid, which readily gave the second nitromethane, CH a (NO 2) b H c H d, identical with the first nitromethane.
This acid gives with silver nitrite the corresponding nitromalonic acid, which readily yielded the third nitromethane, CHaHb(N02),Hd, also identical with the first.
When methyl iodide is used, nitromethane is the sole product, but the higher homologues give more or less of the isomeric nitrous esters.