Erythrityl Tetranitrate

Title: Erythrityl Tetranitrate
CAS Registry Number: 7297-25-8
CAS Name: (2R,3S)-rel-1,2,3,4-Butanetetroltetranitrate
Additional Names: erythritol tetranitrate; erythrol tetranitrate; tetranitrol; tetranitrin; nitroerythrite
Trademarks: Cardilate (Burroughs Wellcome); Cardiloid
Molecular Formula: C4H6N4O12
Molecular Weight: 302.11
Percent Composition: C 15.90%, H 2.00%, N 18.55%, O 63.55%
Literature References: Made by nitration of erythritol.
Properties: Leaflets from alcohol, mp 61°. Sol in alcohol, ether, glycerol. Insol in water. Reduces Fehling's soln. Explodes on percussion. Its use in pharmaceutical preparations is only in admixture with carbohydrate substances such as lactose. Sold in tablet form only. Such tablets are nonexplosive.
Melting point: mp 61°
Therap-Cat: Vasodilator (coronary).
Therap-Cat-Vet: Vasodilator.
Keywords: Vasodilator (Coronary).
Erythrocentaurin Erythromycin Erythromycin Acistrate Erythromycin Estolate Erythromycin Glucoheptonate

Erythritol tetranitrate
Erythritol tetranitrate.png
CAS number 7297-25-8 YesY
PubChem 5284553
ChemSpider 4447608 YesY
UNII 35X333P19D YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:60072 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C4H6N4O12
Molar mass 302.11 g mol−1
Melting point 61 °C; 142 °F; 334 K
Boiling point Decomposes at 160 °C
Explosive data
Shock sensitivity Medium (2.0 Nm)
Friction sensitivity Medium
Explosive velocity 8000-8100 m/s
RE factor 1.60
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Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Erythritol tetranitrate (ETN) is an explosive compound chemically similar to PETN.[1] It is however thought to be 1/3 more sensitive to friction and impact. ETN is not well known, but in recent years has been used by amateur experimenters to replace PETN in improvised detonation cord or in boosters to initiate larger, less sensitive explosive charges. Due to the availability of erythritol as a natural sweetener and its relative ease of production in relation to PETN, ETN is a favoured home made explosive compound to the amateur experimenter.

Like many nitric esters, ETN acts as a vasodilator, and was the active ingredient in the original "sustained release" tablets, made under a process patent in the early 50s, called "nitroglyn". Ingesting ETN or prolonged skin contact can lead to absorption and what is known as a "nitro headache".