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The melting point of ceric ammonium nitrate is 810°C. Unlike most reagents that play a single role, this versatile orange solid is able to function in many different chemical transformations, including carbon-carbon bond formation and cleavage, nitration, and removal of protecting groups. This article will discuss the properties, advantages, and disadvantages of this well-known and economical oxidizing agent.
GFS Chemicals manufactures and sells ACS Reagent Grade Ceric Ammonium Nitrate (CAN), CAS # 16774-21-3, Item 15. This monograph describes an orange-red, water-soluble, cerium salt with the molecular formula of (NH4)2Ce(NO3)6 also noted by its formula CeH8N8O18. It is a powerful oxidant used in organic synthesis to functionalize alcohols, phenols and ethers as well as C-H bonds. It is also the active component of chrome etchant that is used to prepare photomasks and liquid crystal displays.
A new investigation of the dissimilatory nitrate reduction by the marine bacterium Pseudomonas putrefaciens indicates that nitrate is reduced to ammonium in the presence of glucose and sodium thioglycolate. When the medium is supplemented with acetylene, nitrate is reduced to dinitrogen gas and nitrous oxide. When a mixture of glucose and sodium thioglycolate is used, growth is inhibited by the accumulation of nitrous oxide.
The solution structure of ceric ammonium nitrate, an essential chemical feedstock for organic synthesis, is revisited, challenging a half-century-old assertion with a radically different model. In nitric acid solutions, a dinuclear oxo bridged structure is observed, suggesting that CAN is a two-electron transfer reagent rather than the one-electron-transfer reagent generally assumed.