Melinite, an explosive, believed to be composed of fused picric acid, mixed with guncotton, dissolved in ether, and compacted into granules. In some cases gum-arabic and chlorate of potash are said to be added. Its specific gravity is 1-7. It is exploded by a detonator, and upon explosion produces large quantities of poisonous carbonic acid gas. Secrecy is maintained as to its manufacture, owing to the fact that the process is the property of the French Government. The use of picric acid as a military explosive was first studied and patented in 1885 by M. Turpin, who it is known transferred some of the results of his researches to the French War Office. All picric explosives are powerful, but many are subject to instability.