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nitroglycerin(nī'trōglĭs`ərĭn), C3H5N3O9, colorless, oily, highly explosive liquid. It is the nitric acid triester of glycerolglycerol,
, CH2OHCHOHCH2OH, colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting, syrupy liquid. Glycerol is a trihydric alcohol. It melts at 17.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. (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.
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.
..... Click the link for more information. ; the body converts it to nitric oxide, which causes narrowed blood vessels to relax.
(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.