RE: Neutralization of Picric acid

From:"Smith, Allen"

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
sopping wet.
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.
Barry University
School of Graduate Medical Sciences
    Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Miami Shores, Florida  33161-6695 

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Kirby []
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 2:24 AM
To: Histonet
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?

Mike Kirby.
National Health Lab Service

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