Nitroglycerin

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13.2 °C, 286 K, 56 °F

Decomposes at 50–60 °C (122–140 °F)

Nitroglycerin (NG), (United States spelling) also known as nitroglycerine (UK spelling), trinitroglycerin, trinitroglycerine, 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane and glyceryl trinitrate, is a heavy, colorless, oily, explosive liquid obtained by nitrating glycerol. Since the 1860s, it has been used as an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives, specifically dynamite, and as such is employed in the construction and demolition industries. Similarly, since the 1880s, it has been used by the military as an active ingredient, and a gelatinizer for nitrocellulose, in some solid propellants, such as Cordite and Ballistite.

Nitroglycerin is also used medically as a vasodilator to treat heart conditions, such as angina and chronic heart failure. It is one of the oldest and most useful drugs for treating heart disease by shortening or even preventing attacks of angina pectoris. Nitroglycerin comes in forms of tablets, sprays or patches.[1] Nitroglycerin can be used to help destroy prostate cancer[2] as well as being used as a heart medication.

Contents

History

Nitroglycerin was the first practical explosive stronger than black powder. It was synthesized by chemist Ascanio Sobrero in 1847, working under Théophile-Jules Pelouze at the University of Turin. Sobrero initially called his discovery pyroglycerine, and warned vigorously against its use as an explosive. It was later adopted as a commercially useful explosive by Alfred Nobel. He experimented with safer ways to handle the dangerous substance; his younger brother Emil and several workers were killed in 1864 in a nitroglycerin explosion at the family's armaments factory in Heleneborg, Sweden.[3]

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