The manufacture of nitro-glycerine is based upon the reaction which takes place when glycerine is brought in contact with nitric acid and which may be represented by
in which one molecule of glycerine being acted upon by three molecules of nitric acid yields one molecule of tri-nitro-glycerine and three molecules of water. Three of the atoms of hydrogen in the glycerine being replaced by the three atoms of nitryl (NO2). in the three molecules of nitric acid.
It is believed to be possible to produce three different nitro-glycerines. By replacing one atom of hydrogen in the glycerine by one atom of nitryl the mono-nitro-glycerine is formed, having the formula C3H5NO2H2O3. By replacing two of the atoms of hydrogen by two of nitryl the di-nitro-glycerine is produced, having the formula C3H5(NO2)HO3.
By replacing the three atoms, we get the tri-nitro-glycerine given in the reaction above.