"One idea would be to try reacting anhydrous lithium nitrite dissolved in ether with diiodoacetylene I--CÎC--I. One would probably want to keep the dinitroacetylene, if it forms, dissolved in the ether, otherwise it is liable to spontaneously explode."
In some of the molecules, there will also be a few nitrites stuck on in place of the nitro groups, such an arrangement is probably unstable and likely to decompose into: ONOCCNO2 --> O=C=C(NO2)(NO)
Potential Method B 1,2-Dinitroethane can be made in good yield by reacting nitrogen dioxide with ethylene gas, at room temperature in the absence of oxygen. The dinitroethane could then be reacted with a limited quantity of sodium hypochlorite solution to add chlorine atoms onto the molecule. Ideally dichlorodinitoethane would result. It does not matter which isomer forms, so long as there are exactly 2 chlorine atoms in the molecule.
Separate out the dichlorodinitoethane from the water. Since it will be somewhat thermally unstable, distillation is not recommended. It is imparative that all the water be removed, otherwise there will be undesirable polymerization upon subsequent reaction. Dissolve in DMSO solvent, then add solid NaOH. This will pull out two HCl from the molecules, hopefully leaving dinitroacetylene. There may potentially be an explosion hazard, especially if the product is not well diluted in the solvent.
For related information, you might also see: "Dinitroacetylene and Related Compounds" Michael J. S. Dewar, TEXAS UNIVIVERSITY, AUSTIN. "Only two nitroacetylenes have as yet been reported, namely isopropyl- and t-butyl-nitroacetylene, both of which were made originally by elimination of hydrogen halide from suitable precursors under rather drastic conditions. A subsidiary objective of this work was to develop new methods for preparing nitroacetylenes in general. While neither objective has been attained, the results reported here seem to have led to a better understanding of the problems involved."