It happened 150 years ago: Nobel patented nitroglycerin

08-03-2018 NSAN3Z
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An explosion had left marked the face of Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero in 1840. It was in Paris in the laboratory of Théophile-Jules Pelouze while studying the action of nitric acid and analyzed on various substances and some explosives were obtained, as nitrocellulose . Another member of that family is nitroglycerin, which he discovered in 1847. The piroglicerina called and warned that it was impossible to handle it safely. In fact, I kept the discovery secret for a year.

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At seventeen, Alfred Bernhard Nobel Swedish had literary tastes, but had decided to pursue chemistry. In fact, he traveled to Paris in 1850 to study with Pelouze. From there, he contacted Ascanio Sobrero. Nobel tried to tame the dangerous substance, first in St. Petersburg, where Alfred's father had set up a factory and mining machinery would break soon after, and then in Sweden.

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A week before he was thirty, the October 14, 1863, he obtained a patent for a procedure for that oil explosive act in a controlled manner. In 1864, his brother Emil and several workers died from an explosion in the weapons factory that Nobel had in Stockholm, which further stimulated his determination to master the composite.

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This is obtained by the action of nitric acid on glycerin, adding sulfuric acid. It is a very similar to glycerin, although somewhat dense yellowish oily liquid. It seems harmless, but can explode with just shake it, and it does so very powerful. And it is that the decomposition releases large amounts of gases. Two molecules of nitroglycerin result soft seventeen, which means that 380 liters 454 grams generate gas at ambient pressure and temperature. In 1867, Nobel managed to stabilize so that was absorbed in silica diatomaceous earth. Patent explosive made him rich with just forty years of age.

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Nitroglycerin is also used as a vasodilator in some heart disease, an effect that William Murrell and described in 1879. Alfred Nobel himself, which he was prescribed month and a half before his death on December 10, 1896, wrote: " It is ironic that I prescribed nitroglycerin internally! Trinitrin call, not to frighten people. "

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Other scientific calendar days counted in the section, written by Moncho Núñez. You can read it at number 389, very interesting.

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