decomposes at 165 °C
Trinitroanisol, also known as 2,4,6-trinitroanisol; 2,4,6-trinitrophenyl methyl ether; and methyl picrate, is a somewhat sensitive explosive compound similar to picric acid, with the exception that it does not form dangerous salts with metals. It is stable at elevated temperatures, being meltable, but it is detonated by shock and friction. The melting point of this compound is rather low which helps when filling shells and blasting caps, but I would not recommend melting explosives at all unless you know what you are doing. Trinitroanisol was first prepared back in 1849 by one Dr. Cahours via the direct nitration of anisol, the du Pont and Maxim companies were the first to suggest using it as an explosive around 1904. Trinitroanisol say heavy use during WWI, but due to its tenancy to change to picric acid acid from moisture in air, it was used only sparingly by WWII. Other methods of preparation include the interaction of methyl iodide and silver picrate, the nitration of anisic acid, and of course the method developed by Dr. Jackson in 1898 listed below. Trinitroanisol is highly toxic! Symptoms of poisoning include headache, weakness, loss of appetite, gastric disturbance, and irritation of the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract. Contact with skin can cause redness, peeling, and blistering. Wear protective clothing and respirators at all times if possible.
|hydrochloric acid||50-mL beaker|
|methyl alcohol||500-mL Florence flask|
|picryl chloride||graduated cylinder|
|sodium hydroxide||stirrer/stirring rod|
Add 35 g of picryl chloride to 400 mL of methyl alcohol in a round-bottomed 500-mL Florence flask. Set this flask up for refluxing and reflux until all of the picryl chloride has dissolved, then allow the solution to cool to 30-35 °C. Prepare a solution of 23 g of sodium hydroxide and 35 mL of water in a 50-mL beaker. Slowly pour the sodium hydroxide solution into the flask through the reflux condenser, allow the mixture to cool if it begins to boil before adding more. Allow the flask to sit for 1-2 hours, red crystals should have precipitated. Filter the mixture to collect the crystals, wash them with methyl alcohol, and stir into a small beaker of water. Slowly add concentrated hydrochloric acid to the beaker until the red color disappears. A precipitate of yellow or white crystals should form. Filter these crystals to collect them, wash with water to remove sodium chloride, allow to dry, then recrystallize the crystals from methyl alcohol. You will need a graduated cylinder for measuring liquids, a stirring rod or magnetic stirrer for mixing, and a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
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