Nitric Acid

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. When it is combined with hydrochloric acid, an element called aqua regia is formed. In electrochemistry, nitric acid is used as a chemical doping agent for organic semiconductors, and in purification processes for raw carbon nanotubes. Nitric acid is the primary choice here on several grounds. It is an oxidizing acid that can dissolve most metals to form soluble metal nitrates. It has poor oxidizing strength below 2 M but is a powerful oxidizing acid in concentrated form. 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 edema, and even death. Contact with eyes can cause permanent cornea damage.


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