Class 12 Chemistry P Block Elements Chemical properties of Nitric Acid

Chemical properties of nitric acid

It keeps on oxidizing and forms nitrogen dioxide that is why we see brown color fumes coming out from the bottle.

  1. Acidic nature: Nitric acid is acidic in nature because it dissociates to give hydrogen ion when dissolved in water:


Because this is acidic therefore, it reacts with base showing neutralization reaction:

HNO3        +   NaOH --->         NaNO3      +           H2O

Nitric Acid  Sodium Hydroxide   Sodium Nitrate     Water

  1. Reaction with metals: To give nitrates and nascent hydrogen:

M + HNO---> metal nitrates + [H]+

This nascent hydrogen can bring about reduction of substance:



Please note certain metals like chromium, aluminium do not dissolve in nitric acid due to formation of passive layer of oxide film on it which prevents further reaction.

Aqua regia: It is a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid in ratio 1:3 and it is used in dissolving noble metals.

  1. Oxidizing nature of nitric acid: It helps in oxidation of non metals like for example:
  • Converting I --> IO3-

                           I--- > IO3-

In this oxidation state of iodine is changed from 0 to +5 that is increase in oxidation number:


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