Nitrite - NO<sup>-</sup><sub>2</sub>

What is Nitrite (NO2)?

NO2 is symmetric anion with chemical name Nitrite. It is also called Nitrite anion or Nitrite Ion. It is composed of 1 Nitrogen and 2 Oxygen atoms. Their flow of circulation is as follows – from the digestive system, into the blood, into the saliva and back to the digestive system. Therefore this is called entero-salivary circulation. It appears as a colorless liquid of crystalline solid. When in contact it can cause irritation to mucous membranes, skin, and eyes. They are usually produced by the absorption of nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide in an alkaline solution. Ancient times nitrate was prepared by fusing sodium nitrate with lead. Later the resultant sodium nitrite and the resulting sodium nitrate were dissolved in water. Using filtration technique it was separated from its by-product lead oxide.

Properties of Nitrite – NO2

NO2 Nitrite
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 46.005 g/mol
Conjugate acid Nitrous acid
Structure symmetrical structure
Bond angle 115°

Nitrite structure (NO2 Structure)

Nitrite structure

Nitrite (NO2 ) Uses

  • It prevents bacterial growth and hence used for curing of meat.
  • Medically it is used as a vasodilator to relieve the cardiac pain.
  • It is added to processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, and sausages.
  • It functions as antimicrobial in the digestive system to help kill the pathogenic bacterias such as Salmonella.

Learn more about the Structure, physical and chemical properties of Nitrite (NO2) from the experts at BYJU’S.

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