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nitric acid esterester,
any one of a group of organic compounds with general formula RCO2R′ (where R and R′ are alkyl groups or aryl groups) that are formed by the reaction between an alcohol and an acid.
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 of cellulosecellulose,
chief constituent of the cell walls of plants. Chemically, it is a carbohydrate that is a high molecular weight polysaccharide. Raw cotton is composed of 91% pure cellulose; other important natural sources are flax, hemp, jute, straw, and wood.
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 (a glucose polymer). It is usually formed by the action of a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids on purified cotton or wood pulp. The extent of nitration and degradation (breaking down) of the cellulose is carefully controlled in order to obtain the desired product. When cotton is treated so that nearly all of the hydroxyl groups of the cellulose molecule are esterified, but with little or no degradation of the molecular structure, the nitrocellulose formed is called guncotton. Guncotton resembles cotton in its appearance. Extremely flammable, it explodes when detonated and is used in the manufacture of explosives. Guncotton is insoluble in such common solvents as water, chloroform, ether, and ethanol. If the nitration is not carried to completion (the point at which about two thirds of the hydroxyl groups are esterified), the soluble cellulose nitrate pyroxylinpyroxylin
, partially nitrated cellulose (see nitrocellulose). It is used in lacquers, plastics, and artificial leathers. Pyroxylin lacquers are made by dissolving pyroxylin in a mixture of volatile solvents and adding a plasticizer and a pigment or dye.
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 is formed.
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(organic chemistry)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cellulose nitrate

A material formed by the reaction of cellulose fibers with nitric and sulfuric acids. Those with lower nitrogen content are used as binders in lacquers and are very inflammable. A high nitrogen content results in nitrocellulose, an explosive.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
It makes sense that a metallic format, such as CD-ROM, will last longer than paper and certainly longer than silver nitrate film or microforms even though the CD-ROM is such a new technology that we do not really know its longevity.
It is guarded by a massive fire-proof entrance door (because of the highly combustible silver nitrate film formerly used), built by Mather & Platt of Manchester, in 1927.
Old nitrate film reels need to be kept in controlled conditions because they deteriorate with age and become highly flammable.
But now, thanks to the find of 800 reels of ageing, nitrate film discovered in dusty, sealed barrels in a Blackburn shop's cellar, we can see the first movies of those times.
Mayer rejected this idea, yon Stroheim privately asked his director friend, Rex Ingrain, to edit it down to three hours, whereupon Metro executive Irving Thalberg, who had been yon Stroheim's nemesis previously at Universal, took the film away from him and assigned editor Joe Farnham to cut it to conventional length; the 140-minute version was a flop upon its release at Christmas 1924, and Thalberg had the silver nitrate film on which it was made burned, thereby preventing the picture from ever being reassembled.
Film opens with disheartening images of decayed nitrate film rusting away in abandoned vaults to illustrate.
HOLLYWOOD Early last year, while preparing to move, retired Oregon projectionist William Buffum had to choose between chucking the five faded old reels of nitrate film in his attic or donating them to an interested organization.