How did nitroglycerine go from an explosive to a
Hi Krystal...yes...looks like something impossible but it is true...
Nitroglycerin or glyceryl trinitrate is a high explosive, and
also component of many dynamites.
It molecular formula is C3H5(ONO2)3, it has a high
nitrogen content( 18.5%) and contains more than
enough oxigen atoms to oxidize the carbon and hydrogen
atoms while nitrogen is beeing liberated, so it is one
of the most powerful explosives known.
Its detonation generates gases that would occupy more
than 1,200 times the original volume at room temperature.
But since the heat liberated raises the temperature up to
5,000 degrees C, the pressure goes over 20,000 atm, so...
Now for the medicinal use: trinitroglycerin, as other
related drugs are used for relief of chest pain in coronary
heart disease, the so called angina pectoris. The effect is
done by relaxing the coronary blood vessel (and others also)
so the coronary blood flow increases and blood pressure
falls. In high doses, anti-anginal drugs also depress heart
muscle contractions and decrease the heart rate. The
mechanism of anti-anginal action has not yet been established
with certainty but it is probably indirect, either by an improvement
in the oxigen supply to the heart or a reduction in the oxigen
required by the heart to function regurlarly.
Strange...but both actions seem to be results of the oxigen in the
molecule Anyway...take in account also that the quantity used
as medicine is minimal.
Thanks for asking NEWTON!
It is also used together
with nitrocellulose in some propellants espetially for rockets
By other hand is is employed as vasodilator to ease
cardiac pain, as in the case of patients with angina
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Update: June 2012