What is Nitric Acid?

Nitric acid, also known as aqua fortis and spirit of nitre, is a highly corrosive mineral acid. The pure compound is colourless, but older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to decomposition into oxides of nitrogen and water. Nitric acid is a highly acidic substance and a strong oxidizing agent. The chemical formula of nitric acid is HNO3 and it is made up of one hydrogen atom, one nitrogen atom, and three oxygen atoms. 

Nitric acid is used in the production of ammonium nitrate for fertilizers, making plastics, and in the manufacture of dyes. It is also used for making explosives such as nitroglycerin and TNT.

Nitric acid is an extremely corrosive acid capable of causing severe chemical burns very rapidly. If nitric acid mists are inhaled, health risks include corrosion of mucous membranes, delayed pulmonary oedema, and even death. Contact with eyes can cause permanent cornea damage.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 10-Oct-2022


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