Nitro is a city in Kanawha and Putnam counties in the State of West Virginia, United States, along the Kanawha River. The population was 7,178 at the 2010 census.
Nitro was incorporated in 1932 by Circuit Court.
The name Nitro derives from nitrocellulose, the main ingredient in smokeless gunpowder. The Nitro area was to be the American ammunition production facility during World War I. Daniel C. Jackling "supervised the construction and operation" of the plant, which by the time of the armistice "was producing one hundred thousand pounds of high explosives per day."
Its name was selected by the United States government because of the establishment there, during World War I, of a large federal plant for the manufacture of explosives. The city is known as "a Living Memorial to World War I."
Nitro is located at 38°24′55″N 81°49′52″W (38.415281, -81.831249), primarily in Kanawha County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.67 square miles (12.10 km2), of which, 4.28 square miles (11.09 km2) is land and 0.39 square miles (1.01 km2) is water.
The city lies across the Kanawha River from the city of St. Albans to the south, and is adjacent to the census-designated place of Cross Lanes.
Nitro is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 287,702.