Nitroglycerine manufacture used by Alfred Nobel

Nitroglycerine manufacture used by Alfred Nobel

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Explosive manufacture. Illustration of the apparatus used to make nitroglycerine, the explosive which earnt Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel his fortune. This way of manufacturing the explosive is known as the 'batch method' and involves reacting glycerine and nitric acid. Temperature control is very important during this process and the operator's stool has only one leg to ensure that he stays awake. Nitroglycerine was discovered in 1846 but was too dangerous in its pure form to be used practically. In 1866 Nobel found that a useful explosive, dynamite, could be made by mixing the nitroglycerine with an organic substance such as sawdust.

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Keywords: alfred, dynamite manufacture, explosive, factory, historical, history of science, industrial, industry, manufacture, nitroglycerine manufacture, nobel, technology

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