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Picric acid - Reciprocal Net Common Molecule Log in
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Picric acid

Picric acid, or trinitrophenol, is a highly reactive, toxic compound used in the manufacture of dyes and high-powered explosives

Chemical Formula: C6H3N3O7
Other names: 2,4,6-Trinitrophenol
Layman's explanation: Picric Acid was first discovered in 1771 by a British Chemist named Peter Woulfe by treatment of indigo with nitric acid. It is most commonly seen in its yellow, water-soluble, crystalline form. For this reason, picric acid first saw use as a dyeing agent in textiles. However, around 1849 it was discovered (for obvious reasons) that picric acid is a shock, heat, and friction-sensitive explosive. Its first use as an explosive material came in military weaponry: torpedoes in particular due to its shock-sensitive nature not requiring a detonator to explode on contact with a target. However, picric acid was found to be highly corrosive to metals, making the weapons very difficult to handle and the acid itself difficult to store. Today, picric acid is used more widely as an ingredient in the manufacture of inert dyes and stable explosives such as dynamite.
Keywords: toxic, inert dyes, explosive

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