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nitrocellulose ni·tro·cel·lu·lose (nī'trō-sěl'yə-lōs', -lōz')
See cellulose nitrate.
a mixture of nitric esters of cellulose, and a highly flammable compound that is the main ingredient of modern gunpowder. Nitrocellulose is a fluffy white substance that retains some of the fibrous structure of untreated cellulose. It is not stable to heat, and even carefully prepared samples will ignite on brief heating to more than about 150 C (300 F). When nitrocellulose decomposes, it forms products that catalyze further decomposition; this reaction, if not stopped in time, results in an explosion