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Picric Acid from Aspirin

Picric Acid can be used as a booster explosive in detonators, a high explosive charge, or as an
intermediate to preparing lead picrate.

Material Required
* Aspirin tablets (5 grains per tablet)
* Alcohol, 95% pure
* Sulfuric acid, concentrated, (if battery acid, boil until white fumes disappear)
* Potassium Nitrate (see elsewhere in this Cookbook)
* Water
* Paper towels
* Canning jar, 1 pint
* Rod (glass or wood)
* Glass containers
* Ceramic or glass dish
* Cup
* Teaspoon
* Tablespoon
* Pan
* Heat source
* Tape

Procedure:
1. Crush 20 aspirin tablets in a glass container. Add 1 teaspoon of water and work into a paste.
2. Add approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup of alcohol (100 millilitres) to the aspirin paste; stir while
pouring.
3. Filter the alcohol-aspirin solution through a paper towel into another glass container. Discard
the solid left in the paper towel.
4. Pour the filtered solution into a glass or ceramic dish.
5. Evaporate the alcohol and water from the solution by placing the dish into a pan of hot water.
White powder will remain in the dish after evaporation.
NOTE: The water in the pan should be at hot bath temperature, not boiling, approx. 160 to 180
degress farenheit. It should not burn the hands.
6. Pour 1/3 cup (80 millilitres) of concentrated sulfuric acid into a canning jar. Add the white
powder to the sulfuric acid.
7. Heat canning jar of sulfuric acid in a pan of simmering hot water bath for 15 minutes; then remove
jar from the bath. Solution will turn to a yellow-orange color.
8. Add 3 level teaspoons (15 grams) of potassium nitrate in three portions to the yellow-orange
solution; stir vigorously during additions. Solution will turn red, then back to a yellow-orange
color.
9. Allow the solution to cool to ambient room temperature while stirring occasionally.
10. Slowly pour the solution, while stirring, into 1-1/4 cup (300 millilitres) of cold water and allow
to cool.
11. Filter the solution through a paper towel into a glass container. Light yellow particles will
collect on the paper towel.
12. Wash the light yellow particles with 2 tablespoons (25 millilitres) of water. Discard the waste
liquid in the container.
13. Place articles in ceramic dish and set in a hot water bath, as in step 5, for 2 hours.