RE: Neutralization of Picric acid
Normal saline will not neutralize anything: it is neither acid nor base nor
The acidity of picric acid can be neutralized by sodium hydroxide. The
result of this ill advised procedure is sodium picrate, which is more
explosive than picric acid itself.
If you must handle picric acid, handle it as the free acid and keep it
Water prevents the propagation of the explosive decomposition reaction.
Keep it off your fingers: it is poisonous and can be absorbed through the
Allen A. Smith, Ph.D.
School of Graduate Medical Sciences
Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Miami Shores, Florida 33161-6695
From: Mike Kirby [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 2:24 AM
Subject: Neutralisation of Picric acid
A question for the chemistry boffins...
I have been informed that picric acid can be neutralised by the addition of
either a salt solution (normal saline) or 5% Sodium Hydroxide.
True, or am I liable to end up splattered against the walls of the lab?
National Health Lab Service
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