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Nitrogen oxyacids and salts

Nitrogen pentaoxide, N 2 O 5 , and NO 2 react with water to form nitric acid, HNO 3 . Alchemists, as early as the eighth century, knew nitric acid (shown in [link] ) as aqua fortis (meaning "strong water"). The acid was useful in the separation of gold from silver because it dissolves silver but not gold. Traces of nitric acid occur in the atmosphere after thunderstorms, and its salts are widely distributed in nature. There are tremendous deposits of Chile saltpeter, NaNO 3 , in the desert region near the boundary of Chile and Peru. Bengal saltpeter, KNO 3 , occurs in India and in other countries of the Far East.

A space filling model shows a blue atom labeled, “N,” bonded on three sides to red atoms labeled, “O.” One of the red atoms is bonded to a white atom labeled, “H.” A pair of Lewis structures is shown connected by a double-headed arrow. The left Lewis structure shows an oxygen atom with two lone pairs of electrons single bonded on the left to a hydrogen atom and on the right to a nitrogen atom. The nitrogen atom is in turn single bonded to an oxygen atom with three lone pairs of electrons in an upward position and double bonded to an oxygen atom with two lone pairs of electrons in a downward position. The right Lewis structure is the same as the left, but the double bonded oxygen is in the upward position and the single bonded oxygen is in the lower position in relation to the nitrogen atom.
This image shows the molecular structure (left) of nitric acid, HNO 3 and its resonance forms (right).

In the laboratory, it is possible to produce nitric acid by heating a nitrate salt (such as sodium or potassium nitrate) with concentrated sulfuric acid:

NaNO 3 ( s ) + H 2 SO 4 ( l ) Δ NaHSO 4 ( s ) + HNO 3 ( g )

The Ostwald process    is the commercial method for producing nitric acid. This process involves the oxidation of ammonia to nitric oxide, NO; oxidation of nitric oxide to nitrogen dioxide, NO 2 ; and further oxidation and hydration of nitrogen dioxide to form nitric acid:

4 NH 3 ( g ) + 5 O 2 ( g ) 4NO ( g ) + 6 H 2 O ( g )
2NO ( g ) + O 2 ( g ) 2 NO 2 ( g )
3 NO 2 ( g ) + H 2 O ( l ) 2 HNO 3 ( a q ) + NO ( g )


4 NO 2 ( g ) + O 2 ( g ) + 2 H 2 O ( g ) 4 HNO 3 ( l )

Pure nitric acid is a colorless liquid. However, it is often yellow or brown in color because NO 2 forms as the acid decomposes. Nitric acid is stable in aqueous solution; solutions containing 68% of the acid are commercially available concentrated nitric acid. It is both a strong oxidizing agent and a strong acid.

The action of nitric acid on a metal rarely produces H 2 (by reduction of H + ) in more than small amounts. Instead, the reduction of nitrogen occurs. The products formed depend on the concentration of the acid, the activity of the metal, and the temperature. Normally, a mixture of nitrates, nitrogen oxides, and various reduction products form. Less active metals such as copper, silver, and lead reduce concentrated nitric acid primarily to nitrogen dioxide. The reaction of dilute nitric acid with copper produces NO. In each case, the nitrate salts of the metals crystallize upon evaporation of the resultant solutions.

Nonmetallic elements, such as sulfur, carbon, iodine, and phosphorus, undergo oxidation by concentrated nitric acid to their oxides or oxyacids, with the formation of NO 2 :

S ( s ) + 6 HNO 3 ( a q ) H 2 SO 4 ( a q ) + 6 NO 2 ( g ) + 2 H 2 O ( l )
C ( s ) + 4 HNO 3 ( a q ) CO 2 ( g ) + 4 NO 2 ( g ) + 2 H 2 O ( l )

Nitric acid oxidizes many compounds; for example, concentrated nitric acid readily oxidizes hydrochloric acid to chlorine and chlorine dioxide. A mixture of one part concentrated nitric acid and three parts concentrated hydrochloric acid (called aqua regia , which means royal water) reacts vigorously with metals. This mixture is particularly useful in dissolving gold, platinum, and other metals that are more difficult to oxidize than hydrogen. A simplified equation to represent the action of aqua regia on gold is:

Au ( s ) + 4HCl ( a q ) + 3 HNO 3 ( a q ) HAuCl 4 ( a q ) + 3 NO 2 ( g ) + 3 H 2 O ( l )

Questions & Answers

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Archie Reply
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Ocheme Reply
What is a mole?
Henry Reply
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Destiny Reply
Copper, Scandium, Vanadium, Iron, Chromium, Cobalt
ion zinc hydrogen
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Stanley Reply
depends on the compound. as you may know there's transition metal compounds and there's organic compounds and so on and so forth.
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Lorrita Reply
electricity refers to the flow electrons
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Gift Reply
When 1 or 2 chemicals react, they rearrange their atomic composition forming new compounds. The total mass before and after is the same/ constant. Chemical equations of same reactants react in same ratios e.g. 1 Na ion reacts with 1 water molecule or a multipier like 1 mole of Na ions react with 1
Mole of water molecules. In that example we multipied by 6.02*10^23 or avogadro constant (L). Or 2 Na+ ions with two water molecules. The arrow means '' to form '' Some times conditions or reactants are written above the arrow like H+ or enzyme or temper, sometimes physical states are written
Beside the chemical Aqueous (aq) which means solute dissolved on water. Solid (s) etc Some chemical equations are written next to it ΔH= # which means enthalpy change which describes if the reaction is endothermic (+) or exothermic (-).
Some are reversible and have half double arrow sign.
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Ibrahim Reply
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Michael Reply
what is chemical compound
A compound is the result of chemical bonding between 2 or more different elements.
Why is an atom electrically neutral?
the same number of electron , proton present in an atom.thats why it is electrically neutral
difference between Amine and amide
Amadu Reply
what is the difference between alkanal and alkanone
difference between alkanol and alkanal
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is organic compounds used for drying agent
Olawale Reply
Sulfuric acid is used as a drying agent.
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John Reply
An atom is the smallest part of an element, for instance gold atoms are the smallest part of gold that can enter a reaction. An atom must consist protons and electrons of equal number. You can think of those subatomic particles as spheres, but not orbiting randomly they move in specific way in
That was partially described mathematically. As a muslim, we believe that god created all matter from nothing. He is the Able, and only who can create matter in the begging in the big bang that was described in the Quran in chapter 17 verse 30, 1400 years ago, you can read it from internet.
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Olubodun Reply
Proton donor (H+). Like in lemons, oranges and some medicines.
what is titration? and how can i get my readings?
favor Reply
what is electrolysis?
favor Reply
what is the formula you use when calculating for gas law?
electro-means electricity while lysis-means splitting up so electrolysis simply means splitting up by means of electric current
good day. how may I see previous question asked in this chat, please?
Asha, A person named Favor asked what is meant by the term electrolysis

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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