nitroglycerin(redirected from 1,2,3-propanetriol trinitrate)
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(glyceryl trinitrate), ONO2CH2—CHO-NO2—CH2ONO2, the triester of glycerol with nitric acid; a powerful explosive.
Nitroglycerin is an oily, colorless liquid that crystallizes in two modifications: a labile form (melting point, 2.8°C) and a stable form (melting point, 13.5°C). Density, 1.591 g/cm3 (25°C). Nitroglycerin is virtually insoluble in water but readily soluble in acetone, ether, and benzene. It explodes upon even a slight impact. Heat of explosion, 6.3 megajoules per kg, or 1,500 kcal/kg; detonation rate, 7.7 km/sec; volume of gaseous explosion products, 713 liters per kg; flash point, ∼200°C.
Nitroglycerin is produced by nitration of glycerol with a nitrating mixture. It is used in significant quantities as a secondary explosive in the production of dynamites and various propellants.
Nitroglycerin produces dilation of the cardiac blood vessels; it is used in medical practice in the form of an ethanol solution (in drops) and in tablets to relieve attacks of angina pectoris.