Propylene glycol dinitrate

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Propylene glycol dinitrate
IUPAC name
Propylene dinitrate
Other names
1-Nitrooxypropan-2-yl nitrate
1,2-Propanediol dinitrate
1,2-Propylene glycol dinitrate
Isopropylene nitrate
Propane-1,2-diyl dinitrate
Molar mass 166.089 g/mol
Appearance Colorless liquid
Odor Sweet, disagreeable
Density 1.232 g/cm3 (at 20 °C)
Melting point −27.7 °C (−17.9 °F; 245.5 K)
Boiling point 121 °C (250 °F; 394 K) (decomposition begins below boiling point)
0.797 g/100 ml (25 °C)
Vapor pressure 0.07 mmHg (22 °C)
Safety data sheet None
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
930 mg/kg (rat, IP)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Ethylene glycol dinitrate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Propylene glycol dinitrate (PGDN) is an organic chemical, an ester of nitric acid and propylene glycol. It is structurally similar to nitroglycerin except that it has one fewer nitrate group, or EGDN but with a methyl group.



Propylene glycol dinitrate burns with a clean flame and if heated enough it may explode.

C3H6(ONO2)2 → 3 CO + 3 H2O + N2


PGDN is a colorless liquid, with a disagreeable odor. It is immiscible with water, but much more soluble in other organic solvents.


PGDN is shock and friction sensitive, albeit less so than nitroglycerine. It has a detonation velocity of 6900 m/s at a density of 1.37.[1]


Propylene glycol dinitrate is not available and has to be prepared in situ.


Propylene glycol dinitrate can be prepared by nitrating dry propylene glycol using concentrated nitric acid and sulfuric acid.[2]




PGDN, like all nitrate esters, affects blood pressure, causes respiratory toxicity, damages liver and kidneys, distorts vision, causes methoglobinuria, and can cause headache and lack of coordination. It may be absorbed through skin. Its primary toxicity mechanism is methemoglobinemia. It may cause permanent nerve damage.

For occupational exposures, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set a recommended exposure limit at 0.05 ppm (0.3 mg/m3) over an eight-hour workday, for dermal exposures.


Should not be stored for long periods of time and used as soon as possible.

2-Nitrodiphenylamine or di-n-butyl sebacate are sometimes used as stabilizers.


Can be diluted with a more flammable solvent and burned outside.

Alternatively it can be diluted in a solvent, then carefully poured in a cooled solution of NaOH to hydrolyze it.


  1. G. D. Kozak , "Measurement and calculation of the ideal detonation velocity for liquid nitrocompounds", Combustion, Explosion and Shock Waves, vol. 34, p. 581–586 (1998)
  2. E-Smoking Liquids as Precursors for Liquid Nitroesters, Hichem FETTAKA, Michel H. LEFEBVRE

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