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(nī'trōglĭs`ərĭn), C3H5N3O9, colorless, oily, highly explosive liquid. It is the nitric acid triester of glycerolglycerol,
or 1,2,3-propanetriol
, CH2OHCHOHCH2OH, colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting, syrupy liquid. Glycerol is a trihydric alcohol. It melts at 17.
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 and is more correctly called glycerol trinitrate. It is insoluble in water but soluble in ether, acetone, benzene, and chloroform. An unstable compound, nitroglycerin decomposes with explosive violence when heated or jarred. It is mixed with an absorbent material to form dynamitedynamite,
explosive made from nitroglycerin and an inert, porous filler such as wood pulp, sawdust, kieselguhr, or some other absorbent material. The proportions vary in different kinds of dynamite; often ammonium nitrate or sodium nitrate is added.
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 (which is not so sensitive to slight shocks) and is also used as a component of smokeless powder. Nitroglycerin was discovered (c.1847) by the Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero and was first produced commercially by Alfred NobelNobel, Alfred Bernhard
, 1833–96, Swedish chemist and inventor. Educated in St. Petersburg, Russia, he traveled as a youth and returned to St. Petersburg in 1852 to assist his father in the development of torpedoes and mines.
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. It is used medicinally to provide temporary relief from the symptoms of angina pectorisangina pectoris
, condition characterized by chest pain that occurs when the muscles of the heart receive an insufficient supply of oxygen. This results when the arteries that supply the heart muscle with oxygenated blood are narrowed by arteriosclerosis.
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; the body converts it to nitric oxide, which causes narrowed blood vessels to relax.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(organic chemistry)
CH2NO3CHNO3CH2NO3 Highly unstable, explosive, flammable pale-yellow liquid; soluble in alcohol; freezes at 13°C and explodes at 260°C; used as an explosive, to make dynamite, and in medicine. Also spelled nitroglycerine.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


, nitroglycerin
a pale yellow viscous explosive liquid substance made from glycerol and nitric and sulphuric acids and used in explosives and in medicine as a vasodilator. Formula: CH2NO3CHNO3CH2NO3
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Super tertio deponit eundem esse verum for that he this deponent was in the parlor and sawe the minstrells playinge and the articulated Wim Appowell then and ther Daw[n]cinge wth diuers women whose names this iurate knoweth not and at the ende of the daw[n]ces he kissed them vt dicit et aliter nescit deponere./
Super quarto deponit That the articulated Wim Appowell at that tyme & while some parte of the pappett playinge was, was in the parlor of the said house wth one hawkes wief of Glastonbury sittinge by the ffiar ther and havinge a Candle burninge ther [M--& almoste spent] but to what ende they did so sitt ther this depont knoweth not./
Super quinto deponit eundem esse verum for that he [CO--hym selfe] this Deponent hym self Cominge in the parlor Doore saw the articulated Wim Powell putt the said woman out of a backe doore out of the said Doore to what ende [CO--in] this depont knoweth not et aliter nescit ...
Super secundo deponit that aboute a xij monethe agone vt modo recolit et tempus aliter perfecte non recordatur this deponent was personally presente in the house articulated together wth Wim Marchant his preconteste (24) beholdinge pappitt players wch was then in the said house wher and when he saw the articulated Wim Appowell beinge then and ther presente puttinge his hand vnder the Coates of [a] Certeine Woman standinge vppon a benche ther and beholdinge also the pappitts then and ther playinge but the name of the woman this depont knoweth not./ et aliter nescit deponere./
Super tertio deponit That at the tyme and place aforsaid he [CO--sawe the articulated Wim] this depont was personally presente when [sic] and when he sawe and hard the said Wim Powell request a minstrell that plaied one a tabrett to Comme in to the parlor of the said house to play ther who at his request did so And then the said Wim Appowell then and ther daunced wth diuers women that were then and ther presente wth hym./ et aliter nescit deponere./