Nitric acid is a highly corrosive acid that is made up of oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen. Nitric acid is usually colorless, but can become yellowish if stored for a long period of time. It is used in the laboratory for many purposes and it has many other important applications as well.
Uses of nitric acid?
The largest use of nitric acid is in the manufacture of fertilizer.
Commercial grade nitric acid is used in the explosives industry to manufacture certain types of explosives.
It is used together with hydrochloric acid to form aqua regia. This highly corrosive acid mixture is used to dissolve and purify gold and platinum. It can also be used to produce chloroauric acid, etch metals, perform experiments and clean glassware in the laboratory.
Nitric acid is also used in liquid fueled rockets as an oxidizer.
Dilute nitric acid is also used in elemental analysis of water samples, sludge samples and solid samples.
It is also used, together with sulfuric acid, in the chemical process of nitration.
Nitric acid is also used in the woodworking industry to give the appearance of age to new pine and maple. Its corrosive qualities are also used to etch metals or to dissolve them.
It is also used together with phosphoric acid to clean food equipment to remove magnesium and calcium compounds.