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Organic compounds with one or more NO2 groups in their molecular structure are called nitro compounds. Nitro compounds are among the largest and most important groups of industrial and laboratory chemicals in use today. Nitronates are tautomeric forms of aliphatic nitro compounds. Nitromethane is an important nucleophilic reagent and finds use as a Michael donor. Nitroalkanes undergo an addition reaction with aldehydes in the nitroaldol reaction. Nitroalkenes are good Michael acceptors and undergo facile Diels-Alder cycloaddition reactions.

Nitro compounds are important precursors in the synthesis of organic amines, ketones, and aldehydes (Nef reaction). The Leimgruber-Batcho, Bartoli, and Baeyer-Emmerling indole syntheses, use aromatic nitro compounds as starting materials. Nitro compounds are also used in the manufacture of diverse products, including chemical intermediates, dyes, waxes, polymers, pesticides, rubber, and photographic chemicals. In the pharmaceutical industry, nitro compounds are used as therapeutic agents for the treatment of bacterial infections, and as antiparasitic and chemotherapeutic agents.


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