Pentaerythritol tetranitrate

Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), also known as PENT, PENTA, TEN, corpent, penthrite (or — rarely and primarily in German — as nitropenta) is one of the most powerful high explosives known. It has a relative effectiveness factor (R.E. factor) of 1.66.[1] PETN can be used as a plastic explosive.[2][3][4][5][6] PETN can also be use as a drug to treat certain heart conditions, such as angina pectoris.[7] In this context, it helps widening blood vessels, which is known as vasodilatation. PETN is among the most widely used substances for vasodilatation.[8]


  1. "PETN (Pentaerythritol tetranitrate)". Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  2. Jsu, Spencer, S., "Equipment to detect explosives is available," The Washington Post, December 28, 2009, accessed January 9, 2010
  3. Paperny, Anna Mehler, "Foiled attack on U.S. plane leaves airport chaos in its wake, The Globe and Mail, December 29, 2009, accessed January 9, 2010
  4. The Big Question: Will body scanners in airports reduce the threat from terrorism? - Big Question, Extras. The Independent. Retrieved on 2010-02-08.
  5. Analysis: Similar explosive on plane used in Saudi attack - Retrieved on 2010-02-08.
  6. Revkin, Andrew C.. (1996-08-30) Crash Simulation Sets T.W.A. Blast In One Small Area. Retrieved on 2010-02-08.
  7. Joseph Riseman, et al. (1958). "Nitroglycerin and other nitrites in the treatment of Angina Pectoris - Comparison of six preparations and four routes of administration" (pdf). Circulation (17): 22-39. 
  8. Giesberger et al. (2009). "Bioactivation of pentaerythritol tetranitrate by mitochodrial aldehyde dehydrogenase" (pdf). BMC Pharmacology (9).