Amyl Nitrate (C5H11NO2)) is a synthetic liquid. This simply means that it isn’t naturally produced. That is, quite simply, all there is to synthetic molecules. Being synthetic doesn’t mean they are or aren’t dangerous, as those properties aren’t mutually exclusive.
If you think all natural/organic products are safe by definition, then you must feel comfortable ingesting the 100% organic cyanide, right? Of course not!
The majority of synthetic molecules are there as a catalyst or preservative to help make things work the way we expect them too.
Ok, so why was Amyl Nitrate synthetically made? What is it’s purpose? Well, it has many. One such purpose is it’s used as an additive to diesel fuel to help it ignite. Amyl Nitrate is incredibly flammable, with a flash point of 21 degrees Celsius.
For those who are unaware, diesel fuel isn’t ignited with a spark plug like other internal combustion engines. Rather, it is ignited using pressure. If you compress almost any fuel, it will ignite. The difference the amount of pressure needed vs traditional ignition source. Some times it is simply easier and more cost effective to just ignite it with a spark. However, diesel fuel has a relatively low pressure needed to ignite, add in some Amyl Nitrate, and you’re ready to roll. A lot of trucks prefer to use diesel fuel, as it is very hard to flood the pistons with fuel making the engine stall. Being driver by compression, each revolution of the engine compresses another cylinder of fuel, keeping the cycle going, and keeping the truck moving.
Amyl Nitrate and its Multiple Uses
Amyl Nitrate has more than one purpose. When inhaled it acts as a vasodilator, which means it can dilate the blood vessels, which in turn lowers the blood pressure. This has many different uses in medical science. Amyl nitrite is used in medicine for some cardiac medical procedures. It is also used to treat cyanide poisoning.
Alkyl nitrites are a source of nitric oxide, which signals for the relaxation of the involuntary muscles (Cardiac muscle (heart muscle)). Physical effects include decrease in blood pressure, headache, flushing of the face, increased heart rate, dizziness, and relaxation of involuntary muscles, especially the blood vessel walls and the internal and external anal sphincter. There are no withdrawal symptoms.
Used In Darwin as A cleaning solvent
Another purpose of Amyl Nitrate is as a cleaning agent and solvent in industrial and household applications. It replaced freon (a.k.a. dichlorodifluoromethane, an industrial chemical universally banned in 1996 due to damage to the ozone layer) as a printed circuit board cleaner.
It also works as a great odor neutraliser, so a very small amount is added to perfumes, as it will neutralize odors quickly.
All in all, this product is a great help to humankind. While some may use it for the wrong reasons, it still has many uses in everyday life, from the hospital bed, to your car, to your bathroom floors. Use it wisely. If you need to know more visit wikipedia.