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Any of a class of chemical compounds in which the nitro group (NO) forms part of the molecular structure. The most common examples are organic compounds, isomers of nitrite esters in which a carbon atom is linked by a covalent bond to the nitro group's nitrogen atom. Many nitro compounds are commercially used as explosives, solvents, or raw materials and chemical intermediates. They are generally made by a reaction between nitric acid and an organic compound.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on nitro compound, visit Britannica.com.
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