Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate


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pentaerythritol tetranitrate

[¦pen·tə·ə′rith·rə‚tȯl ‚te·trə′nī‚trāt]
(organic chemistry)
C(CH2ONO2)4 A white crystalline compound, melting at 139°C; explodes at 205-215°C; soluble in acetone, insoluble in water; used in medicines and explosives. Also known as penthrite; PETN.

Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate

 

(also penthrite), C(CH2ONO2)4, a substance occurring as white crystals that is insoluble in water and that has a melting point of 141°–142° C and a density of 1.74 g/cm3. Pentaerythritol tetranitrate is obtained by the nitration of pentaerythritol using concentrated nitric acid or a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids. The compound is a powerful explosive and is highly detonable and sensitive to mechanical action. Its detonation wave travels at a speed of 8,300 m/sec at a density of 1.6 g/cm3. The heat of explosion is 5,803 kilojoules/kg (1,385 kilocalories/kg), and the compound ignites at 200° C.

Pentaerythritol tetranitrate is used in making detonating fuses; it also serves as a secondary explosive in detonators. It can be mixed with trinitrotoluene to form substances known as pento-lites. In medicine, it is used in vasodilative preparations.

REFERENCE

Orlova, E. Iu. Khimiia i tekhnologüa brizantnykh vzryvchalykh veshchestv, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1973.
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