Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 14:42:13 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Kristi Ohr <kohr**At_Symbol_Here**AMHERST.EDU>
Subject: Re: Picric Acid Synthesis

Hi Nancy,
If the pedagogical purpose behind the experiment is to perform a 
nitration, then perhaps you could use a different reaction which would 
yield a less hazardous product.  There are many procedures for 
undergraduate nitration experiments.  We typically start with methyl 
benzoate.  Of course, the issue with all nitration reactions in an 
undergraduate lab is keeping concentrated nitric acid out of 
inappropriate waste containers.  And the use of concentrated acids in 
even small quantities can be challenging from a safety standpoint.  I 
have our students wear lab coats and acid aprons for the nitrations (in 
addition to the usual goggles and gloves, of course), just to prevent 
any issues.
Hope that's helpful,


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List on behalf of Richardson, Nancy A (Faculty 
Sent: Mon 5/10/2010 4:50 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Picric Acid Synthesis

I was wondering what sort of safety procedures should be used when 
undergraduates synthesize picric acid.  Also, what one should do with 
the material after it is made?    As I remember the disposal cost is 
rather high and it is not something one wants to store long term 
especially if it likely to be forgotten about.  We have organic students 
that want to do special projects and a few want the opportunity to make 
picric acid.


Thanks for any comments and help on this.


Nancy Richardson    

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