Synonyms: Algodão-Polvora; Algodón pólvora; Cellulose Nitrate; Celulosa decanítrica; Colloxylinum; Fulmicoton; Gossypium Collodium; Kollodiumwolle; Nitrato de celulosa; Piroxilina; Pyroxyline; Pyroxylinum; Soluble Guncotton.
Cyrillic synonym: Пироксилин.

💊 Chemical information

CAS — 9004-70-0.


In Br., Jpn, Pol., and US.

BP 2008

(Pyroxylin). A nitrated cellulose obtained by the action of a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids on wood pulp or cotton linters that have been freed from fatty matter. It must be damped with not less than 25% of isopropyl alcohol or of industrial methylated spirit. White or almost white cuboid granules or fibrous material resembling absorbent cotton but harsher to the touch and more powdery. It is highly flammable. Soluble in acetone and in glacial acetic acid. Store in well-closed containers, loosely packed, protected from light, and at a temperature not exceeding 15°, remote from fire. The container should be suitably designed to disrupt should the internal pressure reach or exceed 1400 kPa. The amount of damping fluid must not be allowed to fall below 25% w/w; should this happen, the material should be either rewetted or used immediately for the preparation of Collodion.

USP 31

(Pyroxylin). Pyroxylin is obtained by the action of a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids on cotton and consists chiefly of cellulose tetranitrate (C 12 H 16 N 4 O 18 ) n . It occurs as a light yellow, matted mass of filaments resembling raw cotton but harsher to the touch. It is highly flammable. Store loosely packed, protected from light. When kept in well-closed containers and exposed to light, it decomposes with the evolution of nitrous vapours, leaving a carbonaceous residue.

💊 Profile

Pyroxylin is used in the preparation of collodions which are applied to the skin for the protection of small cuts and abrasions. Collodions are also used as vehicles for the application of drugs when prolonged local action is required.


Dry pyroxylin is explosive and sensitive to ignition by impact or friction and should be handled carefully.

💊 Preparations

BP 2008: Collodion; Flexible Collodion; USP 31: Collodion; Flexible Collodion. Proprietary PreparationsMulti-ingredient: UK: Dispello.
Published January 12, 2019.