N2O5 - Dinitrogen Pentoxide

What is Dinitrogen Pentoxide?

Dinitrogen Pentoxide is the anhydride form of nitric acid, can be made as white crystals, by carefully dehydrating nitric acid with diphosphorus pentoxide or by oxidizing nitrogen dioxide with ozone. It is unstable compound decompose spontaneously at room temperature into nitrogen dioxide and oxygen. In nitric acid, to give a high concentration of nitronium cation, dinitrogen pentoxide is highly dissociated. Dinitrogen Pentoxide are unstable and mildly explosive chemicals of no current commercial value.

Other names – Nitrogen pentoxide, nitro nitrate


Dinitrogen Pentoxide


1.64 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

108.01 g/mol

Boiling Point

47 °C

Melting Point

41 °C

Chemical Formula


Dinitrogen Pentoxide Structure – N2O5

Dinitrogen Pentoxide Structure

Physical Properties of Dinitrogen Pentoxide – N2O5


No odour


White solid

Covalently-Bonded Unit


Hydrogen Bond Acceptor





Soluble in alcohol and ether

Chemical Properties of Dinitrogen Pentoxide – N2O5

  • Dinitrogen Pentoxide reacts with water forms nitric acid. The balanced chemical equation is given below.
  • N2O5 + H2O → 2HNO3

  • Dinitrogen Pentoxide reacts with a base like sodium hydroxide forms sodium nitrate and water. The chemical equation is given below.
  • N2O5 + 2NaOH → 2NaNO3 + H2O

Uses of Dinitrogen Pentoxide – N2O5

  • Used as a robust oxidizer in high-fuel rockets.
  • Used in solvents that are not based on water, so that molecules that are very sensitive to water can be easily nitrated.
  • Used as a nitrating agent in modern synthetic organic chemistry. A mixture of N2O5 and HNO3 is also a good and strong nitrating agent.
  • Used to denote the light intensities transmitted when the cell was occupied by the decomposing nitrogen pentoxide and when occupied by the completely decomposed nitrogen pentoxide respectively.

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