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2,4,6-trinitrophenol(Dry or wetted with less,by mass)
CI 10305
CI NO 10305
Acide picrique
Acido picrico
Molecular Formula
MDL Number
Molecular Weight
MOL File

Chemical Properties

Picric acid is a pale yellow, odorless solid. Usually found in solution with 10%20% water. Must be kept wetted; the crystalline form is highly unstable. The dry crystal form is explosive upon rapid heating or mechanical shock.
Yellow Solid
Melting point 
122-123 °C (dried material, Lit. Merck Index 12th Ed.)(lit.)

122-123 °C (dried material, Lit. Merck Index 12th Ed.)(lit.)

Boiling point 
1.00 g/mL at 20 °C

vapor density 
7.9 (vs air)

vapor pressure 
1 mm Hg ( 195 °C)

refractive index 
1.7630 (estimate)
storage temp. 
Store at RT.
alcohol: soluble1 (g/12 mL)(lit.)
0.38(at 25℃)
solution (saturated aqueous)

yellow solution
Stability Unstable; may detonate if struck, heated or ground. Highly flammable if dry. May explode if dry-keep wet at all times. Keep water content above 20%. Flammable. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents, bases, most common metals, ammonia, strong reducing agents. Avoid shock, friction, heat. Compounds formed by reaction with
PH Range
explosive limit
Major Application
Explosives, power circuits, energetic materials, liquefied gas fuels, thin films, power generation, batteries, fuel cells, steel, gold films, nanopowder, antifreeze fluid for automobiles, polymerization inhibitors, tattoo removal from skin, antiinfiammatroy agent, treatment of neoplasm
Contact allergens
Contact dermatitis occurred primarily in the explosives industry.
CAS DataBase Reference
88-89-1(CAS DataBase Reference)

Hazard Information

Chemical Properties
Also known as picronitric acid, trinitrophenol, nitroxanthic acid, carbazotic acid or phenoltrinitrate, C6H2(N02)3OH is yellow crystals that are soluble in water, alcohol, chloroform, benzene, and ether with a very bitter taste. It is derived by the nitration of phenolsulfonic acid, obtained by heating phenol with concentrated sulfuric acid, and is used for explosives, matches, electric batteries, and etching copper.
Chemical Properties
Picric acid is a highly flammable, white to yellowish crystalline substance. It used in the manufacture of fi reworks, matches, electric batteries, colored glass, explosives, and disinfectants. Pharmaceutical, textile, and leather industries also make use of picric acid.
Preparation of organic derivatives for identification.
Explosives, matches; in leather industry; electric batteries; etching copper; manufacture of colored glass; textile mordant; also as reagent.
General Description
A paste or slurry consisting of the yellow crystalline solid mixed with water. The dry compound is a sensitive high explosive. The mixture with water is considered safe for storage, handling and shipping. Can be detonated with a number 8 electric blasting cap. The primary hazard is blast where the entire load explodes instantaneously and not from flying projectiles fragments. Can explode under prolonged exposure to heat.
Reactivity Profile
PICRIC ACID, WET, WITH NOT LESS THAN 10% WATER(88-89-1) undergoes vigorous reactions with both oxidizing or reducing agents. Burns if ignited by a flame and continues to burns quietly if the quantity is small or, if large, is thinly spread over an area. The dry compound can explode if shocked or exposed to heat. Wetting significantly reduces the tendency to explode. Readily forms salts on contact with many metals (including copper, lead, mercury, zinc, nickel, iron) . The salts are sensitive explosives when subjected to heat, friction, or impact. Contact with concrete floors may form the friction-sensitive explosive calcium picrate [Urbanski, 1964, vol. 1, p. 518]. Contact with metallic zinc or lead can cause detonation. Salts with ammonia, amines and complexes with hydrocarbons are less sensitive [Kirk-Othmer, 1965, vol. 8, p. 617].
Air & Water Reactions
Water soluble.
Health Hazard
Some are toxic and may be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through skin. Contact may cause burns to skin and eyes. Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.
Health Hazard
Exposures to picric acid cause different adverse effects on the skin of animals and humans, such as allergies, dermatitis, irritation, and sensitization. Absorption of picric acid by the system causes headache, fever, nausea, diarrhea, and coma. In high concentrations, picric acid is known to cause damage to the erythrocytes, kidneys, and liver.
Potential Exposure
Picric acid is used in the synthesis of dye intermediates and in manufacturing picrates; in the manufacture of explosives, rocket fuels; fireworks, colored glass; matches, electric batteries; and disinfectants. It is also used in the pharmaceutical and leather industries; in copper and steel etching; forensic chemistry; histology, textile printing; and photographic emulsions.
First aid
If this chemical gets into the eyes, remove any contact lenses at once and irrigate immediately for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting upper and lower lids. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical contacts the skin, remove contaminated clothing and wash immediately with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical has been inhaled, remove from exposure, begin rescue breathing (using universal precautions, including resuscitation mask) if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action has stopped. Transfer promptly to a medical facility. When this chemical has been swallowed, get medical attention. Give large quantities of water and induce vomiting. Do not make an unconscious person vomit.
UN0154 Picric acid, dry or wetted with <30% water, by mass, Hazard Class: 1D; Labels:1D-Explosive (with a mass explosion hazard); D-Substances or articles which may mass detonate (with blast and/or fragment hazard) when exposed to fire. UN1344 Picric acid, wetted with not less than 30% water, Hazard Class: 4.1; Labels: 4.1-Flammable solid.
Explosive when dry. Violent reaction with oxidizers and reducing materials. Air or oxygen is not required for decomposition. Shock sensitive compounds can be formed on contact with plaster, concrete. An explosive mixture results when the aqueous solution crystallizes. May explosively decompose from heat, shock, friction, or concussion. Copper, lead, zinc and other metals, or their salts can form other salts that are initiators and much more sensitive to shock than this chemical. Corrodes metals.
Waste Disposal
Controlled incineration in a rotary kiln incinerator equipped with particulate abatement and wet scrubber devices.

Safety Data

Hazard Codes 
Risk Statements 
R1:Explosive when dry.
R4:Forms very sensitive explosive metallic compounds.
R11:Highly Flammable.
R23/24/25:Toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed .
R2:Risk of explosion by shock, friction, fire or other sources of ignition.
R36:Irritating to the eyes.
R20/21/22:Harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed .
Safety Statements 
S35:This material and its container must be disposed of in a safe way .
S45:In case of accident or if you feel unwell, seek medical advice immediately (show label where possible) .
S37:Wear suitable gloves .
S28:After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of ... (to be specified by the manufacturer) .
S36/37:Wear suitable protective clothing and gloves .
S36:Wear suitable protective clothing .
S26:In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice .
S16:Keep away from sources of ignition-No smoking .
UN 1344 4.1/PG 1

WGK Germany 


Workers should use protective clothing, avoid skin contact, and use goggles and face masks to avoid dust.
Safety Profile
Poison by ingestion and subcutaneous routes. Mutation data reported. An irritant and an allergen. Shin contact can cause local and systemic allergic reactions. Flammable solid when exposed to heat or flame; can react vigorously with oxidzing materials. Very unstable. A severe explosion hazard when shocked or exposed to heat. It forms salts easily, and many of its salts, known as picrates, are more sensitive explosives than picric acid. It forms unstable salts with concrete, NH3, bases, and metals (e.g., copper, lead, mercury, and zinc). Many of these are heat-, friction-, or impact- sensitive. Mixtures with uranium perchlorate are extremely powerful explosives. mxtures with aluminum and water igmte after a delay period. Can react vigorously with reducing materials. Used in synthesis of dyes, as a drug, to manufacture explosives and matches, to etch copper, and to make colored glass. See also NITRO COMPOUNDS OF AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS and EXPLOSIVES, HIGH.

Raw materials And Preparation Products

Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS)

Questions and Answers (Q&A)

It is an organic compound (chemical formula: (O2N)2C6H2OH) with a better taste. It is also one of most acidic phenols with many applications such as being an explosive, used in medicine, and dyes. One of its biggest applications is used in munitions and explosives such as TATB. It is also used in organic chemistry for the manufacture of some crystalline salts. In metallurgy, it can be used in optical metallography for revealing the prior austenite grain boundary in the ferritic steels. It is also used as a component in the bouin solution for histology specimens. In clinical chemistry, it can be used in the Jaffe reaction to test the creatinine. It is manufactured through the reaction between phenols and sulfuric acid to generate p-hydroxyphenylsufonic acid, followed by nitration with concentrated nitric acid to obtain the final product. 

Spectrum Detail

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