When nitrogen dioxide (NO2) reacts with water (H2O), nitric acid (HNO3) forms. Other names for nitric acid include spirit of niter, eau forte, aqua fortis, hydrogen nitrate, and acidum nitricum. While it is found in acid rain, nitric acid suppliers create it using a method called the Ostwald process. This process involves the reaction of anhydrous ammonia and nitric oxide.

Nitric acid excels as an oxidizing agent and easily ionizes in solution. Its versatility makes it suitable for applications in numerous industries, including manufacturing, chemical production, and medicine. Wondering where to buy nitric acid? Let Brenntag act as your distributor.


Manufacturers use nitric acid's reactivity to create products such as plastics, dyes, and fertilizers. They use nitric acid to produce ammonium nitrate, used as a component in these types of manufacturing processes. Nitric reacts with hydrochloric acid to form aqua regia. The reagent aqua regia can dissolve elements such as gold and platinum. It is also used to differentiate morphine and heroin in colorimetric tests.

Liquid-fueled rockets can use nitric acid as an oxidizer. Engineers use red and white fuming nitric acid for this purpose. These forms of the substance have a much higher concentration than normal nitric acid. Medical professionals use nitric acid to treat warts, chancres, and dyspepsia. The acid in its pure state works as a caustic that removes skin sores and infections. Diluted solutions relieve indigestion and digestive inflammation. Since nitric acid can ionize to form conductors of electricity, it has applications in the electronics industry. It is used as a doping agent to alter the electrical properties of a semiconductor. During the processing of raw carbon nanotubes, nitric acid works as a purifier.

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Nitric Acid Chemical Property Information

Nitric acid belongs to the inorganic acids group. Its molecular formula, HNO3, indicates that it has one hydrogen atom, one nitrogen atom, and three oxygen atoms. In its pure form, this compound has a boiling point of 78.2°C. Once boiled, it becomes a solid substance when it cools down.

Depending on its concentration, nitric acid can have different names. The solution we call nitric acid includes 68 percent HNO3. Once the level rises to 86 percent, it becomes fuming nitric acid. At a 95 percent concentration, the solution is called red fuming nitric acid or white fuming nitric acid, depending on its level of nitrogen dioxide. Nitric acid with 100 percent HNO3 has the name pure anhydrous nitric acid.


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