Ostwald’s process is used to manufacture Nitric acid. Let us know about nitric acid.
What is nitric acid?
Nitric Acid is a strong acid with the chemical formula HNO3. It is also known as the spirit of nitre and aqua fortis. In its pure form, it is colourless but as it gets older it turns into a yellow cast.
Nitric acid molecules contain 3 oxygen atoms, 1 nitrogen atom, and 1 hydrogen atom.
- In HNO3 molecules, one of the oxygen atoms is doubly bonded to the central nitrogen atom.
- Another oxygen atom is singly bonded to the central nitrogen atom and also singly bonded to a hydrogen atom.
- The last oxygen atom in the nitric acid molecule has a charge of -1 and is singly bonded to the central nitrogen atom.
Ostwald process is one of the most common methods or chemical process used for the manufacturing of nitric acid.
Laboratory preparation can be done by taking
50g of potassium nitrate (KNO3) + 25ml of concentrated sulphuric acid (H2SO4) in a round bottom flask. The reactants are heated to about 200oC taking care that the temperature does not rise above 200oC.
Uses of Nitric acid
Listed below are few uses of nitric acid
- It is used to produce ammonium nitrates to produce plastic, dye, and fertilizers
- It is used in producing explosives such as TNT
- It is used in liquid-fueled rockets as an oxidizer