In organic synthesis various methods exists to prepare nitro compounds.
Aliphatic nitro compounds
Nitromethane, nitroethane, and nitropropanes are produced industrially by treating propane with nitric acid in the gas phase. Nitromethane can be produced in the laboratory by treating sodium chloroacetatewith sodium nitrite, forming sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride as byproducts.
Aromatic nitro compounds
In a classic electrophilic substitution reaction, nitric acid and sulfuric acid produce the nitronium ion, which reacts with aromatic compounds in aromatic nitration. Another method, starting from halogenated phenols, is the Zinke nitration.