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Home > Propellants, Firearms, and Ammunition Development > Evolution of Propellants > Modern Propellants > Nitroglycerin

The discovery of dynamite in 1887 by Alfred Nobel allowed nitroglycerin to be used as a high explosive. He found that he could blend nitroglycerin with less-nitrated nitrocellulose to form a colloidal mass similar to that used to make Vielle’s nitrocellulose. Nitroglycerin served as the plasticizer and added significant energy to the mix. When well mixed with nitrocellulose, the usually unforgiving nitroglycerin was stable, allowing the formation of clean-burning grains without the use of any additional solvents.

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