Synthesis of nitric acid

Preparation of nitric acid

Preparation of nitric acid

Preparation of nitric acid

Fuming nitric acid is prepared by slowly distilling a mixture of 50 g of sodium nitrate (or equivalent amount of potassium nitrate) and 30 g of concentrated sulfuric acid, in a glass apparatus as shown below.

A glass apparatus for the preparation of nitric acid

A glass apparatus for the preparation of nitric acid

The distillate contains 90-95% of nitric acid. If the nitric acid is colored yellow or red by dissolved oxides of nitrogen, it may be rendered colorless by blowing a current of dry air through the acid for some minutes. Fuming nitric acid d=1.50-1.53 g/ml specific gravity has a strong affinity for water and must be kept closely stoppered.

Anhydrous nitric acid is prepared by redistilled 90-95% acid with concentrated sulfuric acid in an apparatus similar to the above. 90-95% prepared nitric acid is transferred into the flask of an apparatus for distillation in vacuum. All the ground-glass joints in the apparatus are coated with moistened phosphoric anhydride or concentrated sulfuric acid. The flask containing the nitric acid is cooled in ice-water and mixed with the amount of five times its volume of cooled 98% sulfuric acid. Additionally apparatus is connected through a drying system and a safety bottle to a water-jet pump. The vacuum is applied, distillation flask is gently heated and fraction boiling at 30-40° C is collected.

Practical Inorganic Chemistry, by O.I. Vorobyova, 144, 1987



InChI Key


Canonical SMILES


MeSH Synonyms

Acid, Nitric, Nitric Acid

Depositor-Supplied Synonyms

NITRIC ACID, Aqua fortis, Hydrogen nitrate, 7697-37-2, Salpetersaeure, Nital, Acidum nitricum, Nitrous fumes, Azotic acid, Nitryl hydroxide, Engraver’s acid, Nitric acid solution, RFNA, Nitric acid, anhydrous, Red fuming nitric acid, Azotowy kwas [Polish], Salpetersaure [German], Acide nitrique [French], Acido nitrico [Italian], Acido nitrico [Spanish], HNO3, Kyselina dusicne [Czech], Nitric acid (red fuming), nitricacid, CHEMBL1352, UNII-411VRN1TV4, Nitric acid (70% or less), Salpeterzuuroplossingen [Dutch], CHEBI:48107, HSDB 1665, Nitric acid (greater than 70%), EINECS 231-714-2, Nitric acid (conc 80% or greater), UN2031, UN2032, Nitric acid standard solution, Nitric acid (HNO3) 94.5% by weight or more HNO3, 12507-77-6, 78989-43-2, nitroalcohol, Salpetersaure, nitro-alcohol, Acide nitrique, Acido nitrico, Nitric acid, rare earth salts, Azotowy kwas, Kyselina dusicne, Nitro Alcohol, nitric -acid, Contract Lab Program AA/ICP Nitric acid reagent/matrix blank solution, Rare earth nitrate, NO3 anion, Nitric acid (NF), (-)-pareruptorin A, Salpeterzuuroplossingen, Nitric acid concentrate, ACMC-1AXGK, HONO2, Nitric acid, red fuming, AC1L1ADN, AC1Q59XJ, WLN: PR N-O3X3, 40222_ALDRICH, 40230_ALDRICH, 40280_ALDRICH, 40303_ALDRICH, 07006_RIEDEL, 225711_ALDRICH, 30702_RIEDEL, 30709_RIEDEL, 319155_ALDRICH, 319163_ALDRICH, 35278_RIEDEL, 35315_RIEDEL, 35318_RIEDEL, 380091_ALDRICH, 38270_RIEDEL, 38274_RIEDEL, 40222_RIEDEL, 40230_RIEDEL, 40280_RIEDEL, 40303_RIEDEL, 411VRN1TV4, 413984_ALDRICH, 433233_ALDRICH, Nitric acid, gallium salt ( ), 02650_FLUKA, 16355_FLUKA, 17078_FLUKA, 35278_FLUKA, 35315_FLUKA, 35318_FLUKA, 38274_FLUKA, 78005_FLUKA, 84378_FLUKA, 84381_FLUKA, 84385_FLUKA, 84392_FLUKA, CTK1G9304, 319155_FLUKA, 319163_FLUKA, 413984_FLUKA, GRYLNZFGIOXLOG-UHFFFAOYSA-N, MolPort-003-925-241, 07006_SIAL, 30702_SIAL, 30709_SIAL, 78005_SIAL, 84378_SIAL, 84381_SIAL, 84392_SIAL, 258113_SIAL, 258121_SIAL, 309079_SIAL, 364576_SIAL, 438073_SIAL, EINECS 270-173-7, DNC005122, Nitrogen hydroxide oxide (N(OH)2O), AKOS015833449, NSC-177677, RL04937, Nitric acid other than red fuming with >70% nitric acid [UN2031] [Corrosive], 68412-17-9, LS-96711, TC-165689, FT-0689223, N0806, N1916, C00244, D02313, Nitric acid, red fuming [UN2032] [Corrosive], Nitric acid, red fuming [UN2032] [Corrosive], 3B4-1610, I04-12455, 3B1-007698, Nitric acid other than red fuming with >70% nitric acid, 3088A493-74F8-4D19-8ABC-E572420B5F29, Nitric acid other than red fuming with not >70% nitric acid, Nitric acid other than red fuming with >70% nitric acid [UN2031] [Corrosive], Nitric acid other than red fuming with not >70% nitric acid [UN2031] [Corrosive], Nitric acid other than red fuming with not >70% nitric acid [UN2031] [Corrosive], 218625-70-8, 52583-42-3, 802862-59-5

Removed Synonyms

nitrate, Gallium nitrate, Terbium nitrate, Acid, Nitric, Gallium trinitrate, Terbium trinitrate, Praseodymium nitrate, Praseodymium trinitrate, NITRATE ION, Praseodymium (III) nitrate, Terbium nitrate (Tb(NO3)3), CID944, Gallium(III) nitrate (1:3), Praseodymium nitrate (Pr(NO3)3), NSC15200, Praseodymium(III) nitrate (1:3), Nitric acid, praseodymium(3+) salt, NSC177674, NSC177677, NITRIC ACID, TERBIUM(3+) SALT, D017942, NO3, 10043-27-3, 10361-80-5, 13494-90-1, 73069-25-7

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