nitroglycerin

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nitroglycerin

nitroglycerin (nīˌtrōglĭsˈərĭn), C3H5N3O9, colorless, oily, highly explosive liquid. It is the nitric acid triester of glycerol 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 dynamite (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 Nobel. It is used medicinally to provide temporary relief from the symptoms of angina pectoris; the body converts it to nitric oxide, which causes narrowed blood vessels to relax.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nitroglycerin

 

(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.

nitroglycerin

[¦nī·trə′glis·ə·rən]
(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.

nitroglycerine

, 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
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