CAS number 556-88-7 YesY
PubChem 11174
ChemSpider 10701 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:39180 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula CH4N4O2
Molar mass 104.07 g/mol
Appearance Colorless crystalline solid
Melting point

232 °C, 505 K, 450 °F

Boiling point

250 °C (decomp.)

EU Index Not listed
Main hazards Explosive
Related compounds
Related compounds Guanidine
Guanidine nitrate
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Nitroguanidine is a chemical compound. It is a colorless, crystalline solid. It melts at 232 °C and decomposes at 250 °C. It is not flammable and is an extremely low sensitivity explosive; however, its detonation velocity is high.



Nitroguanidine is manufactured from guanine, a naturally-occurring substance typically found in the excrement of bats and birds (guano). Guanine is extracted from the droppings and is then oxidized to form guanidine.[1] Guanidine is then nitrated to form nitroguanidine. The detailed process used to perform industrial-scale synthesis is considered proprietary and is not available for public release. A laboratory synthesis involves the fusion of sulfamic acid with urea, followed by nitration of the formed guanidine sulfate.[2]



Nitroguanidine is used as an explosive propellant, notably in triple-base smokeless powder. The nitroguanidine reduces the propellant's flash and flame temperature without sacrificing chamber pressure. These are typically used in large bore guns where barrel erosion and flash are particularly important.


Nitroguanidine and its derivatives are used as insecticides, having a comparable effect to nicotine. Derivatives include clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam.


The nitrosoylated derivative nitrosoguanidine is often used to mutagenize bacterial cells for biochemical studies.


Nitroguanidine can exist in distinct tautomeric forms, as a nitroimine (left) or a nitroamine (right). In solution and in the solid state, the nitroimine form predominates.[3][4]

Nitroguanidine tautomers.svg


  1. ^ Strecker, A (1861). "Untersuchungen über die chemischen Beziehungen zwischen Guanin, Xanthin, Theobromin, Caffein und Kreatinin". Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie 118 (2): 151–177. doi:10.1002/jlac.18611180203. 
  2. ^ Axt (August 1, 2007). "Nitroguanidine: from sulphamic acid and urea". Sciencemadness Discussion Board. 
  3. ^ Bulusu, S.; Dudley, R. L.; Autera, J. R. (1987). "Structure of nitroguanidine: nitroamine or nitroimine? New NMR evidence from nitrogen-15 labeled sample and nitrogen-15 spin coupling constants". Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry 25 (3): 234–238. doi:10.1002/mrc.1260250311. 
  4. ^ Murmann, R. K.; Glaser, Rainer; Barnes, Charles L. (2005). "Structures of nitroso- and nitroguanidine x - ray crystallography and computational analysis". Journal of Chemical Crystallography 35 (4): 317–325. doi:10.1007/s10870-005-3252-y. 

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