Nitric acid is a strong monobasic acid and an oxidizing agent, which is characterized by a colorless, yellow, or red liquid.
Nitric acid (aq)
C10H24Cl2N4Pd2+, 2(NO3-), HNO3, H2O
Nitric acid was first discovered in 1648 by a German chemist, Johann Rudolf. However, in 1901 Wilhelm Ostwald developed the Ostwald Process, which became the principle way of producing nitric acid. During the Ostwald process, ammonia gas is successively oxidized to nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide by air or oxygen in the presence of a platinum gauze catalyst. Nitric acid has a characteristic choking odor that is acrid and suffocating. It is a caustic and corrosive liquid which will attack some forms of plastics, rubber and coatings. Nitric acid is not combustible, but it may give off poisionous oxides of nitrogen and acid fumes when heated in fire.
Nitric acid is mainly used in the production of fertilizers, explosives, flares and rocket propellants. Nitric acids react with toluene in the presence of sulfuric acid to form trinitrotoluene (TNT).
Structure obtained courtesy of the Cambridge Structural Database
Citation of a publication:
M. Yamashita, H. Ito, K. Toriumi, T. Ito;
Inorg. Chem., 22,(1983),1566
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