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A picrate is a salt or an ester of picric acid (a 2,4,6-trinitrophenol). But it could also be a addition compound which picric acid forms with many aromatic hydrocabons, aromatic amines, aliphatic amines, aleknes, and other compunds[1]These addtion compunds are also called picrates even that they are not a salt of picric acid.

The picrate ion has yellow color. Many picrates are explosives, for example ammonium picrate (known as Dunnite). Some are used as primary explosives, namely lead picrate or potassium picrate which find their use as bullet primers. Ferrous picrate is used in some applications as a diesel fuel additive to achieve better mileage.

Picrates of some metals tend to be significantly more sensitive to impact and friction than picric acid itself (therefore storage of picric acid and mixtures containing it in containers made of these metals is strongly discouraged).


  1. Smith, M. B.; March, J. (6th ed. 2007). March's Advanced Organic Chemistry. John Wiley & Sons. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-471-72091-1. Check date values in: |date= (help)