Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Ascanio Sobrero and nitroglycerin
Many understand incorrectly...Alfred Nobel did not discover nitroglycerin...it was Ascanio Sobrero an Italian chemist. Nobel took nitroglycerin and stabilized it with sawdust or diatomaceous earth...thus, dynamite.
Italian chemist who discovered nitroglycerine. Ascanio Sobrero worked as an assistant to Professor J. T. Pelouze in Paris and then became professor of chemistry in Turino, Italy. His face was badly scarred as a result of an explosion in the 1840s. He considered nitroglycerine to be far too dangerous to be of any practical use. Sobrero is quoted to have said "When I think of all the victims killed during nitroglycerine explosions, and the terrible havoc that has been wreaked, which in all probability will continue to occur in the future, I am almost ashamed to admit to be its discoverer." He was mortified when the Nobel family started the commercial exploitation of nitroglycerine and with the success of dynamite he felt he had been subject to an injustice. Alfred Nobel openly cited Sobrero as the inventor of nitroglycerine.
Ascanio Sobrero [Wikipedia]