GUNCOTTON, an explosive substance produced by the action of strong nitric acid on cellulose at the ordinary temperature; chemically it is a nitrate of cellulose, or a mixture of nitrates, according to some authorities.
The first step in the history of guncotton was made by T.
His name is chiefly known in connexion with ozone, which he began to investigate in 1839, and with guncotton, which he prepared and applied as a propellant in fire-arms early in 1846.
The more nearly the composition of guncotton approaches that represented by C6H702(N03)3, the more stable is it as regards storing at ordinary temperatures, and the higher the igniting temperature.
Carefully prepared guncotton after washing with alcohol-ether until nothing more dissolves may require to be heated to 180-185° C. before inflaming.