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topic 39965

Reaction Product of Nitric acid plus Sulphuric acid

A discussion started in 2006 but continuing through 2018


Q. What is the product of nitric acid and sulphuric acid?

Cat M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
student - East Yorkshire, England


A. There is no chemical reaction. H + NO3 and H2 + SO4 will give an equilibrium of the ions and the acid. Now, it is possible that if you add concentrated sulfuric acid to the nitric it can become hot enough to break the HNO3 into water and NO2 (gas). Has to do with heat, not a reaction between the two.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


A. Mixing of nitric and sulphuric acid ... fairly boring on its own. Now, if we consider this in the context of organic chemistry we have a nitrating mixture. When heated in the presence of organic materials we form the nitrating radical, used for nitrating a number of organic compounds such as phenol, toluene and benzene.

Brian Terry
Aerospace - Yeovil, Somerset, UK

Nitronium ion

October 16, 2014

Q. I want to about mechanism of formation of nitronium ion by the reaction between sulfuric acid (98%) and nitric acid (98%).

saurabh thanki
- jamnagar,gujarat,india

October 29, 2014

A. Hi Saurabh,

Nitronium ion (NO2+)is formed by below reaction:

2 H2SO4 + HNO3 => 2 HSO4(−) + NO2(+) + H3O(+)


David Shiu
David Shiu
- Singapore


How to make 2EHN

September 14, 2016

Q. Hi, I want to produce 2EHN. How can I do it?
I have mixed H2SO4 and HNO3(2:1 ratio)...
What should I do next?
Thank you

yashar Oroumieh
- Iran

Ed. note: Readers, here's a bit of info on 2EHN =>

September 15, 2016

A. The fact that you have started mixing acids without knowing what to do next tells me that you have no idea what you are doing and how hazardous this process can be.
Nitrating organic materials is a job for a qualified organic chemist with facilities to prevent thermal runaway with probably explosive results.
I suggest that you get qualified and competent expert advice and never start a chemical process without clearly knowing everything about the reaction and adequate means to control it and to safely dispose of the waste products.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

May 10, 2017

A. The mixture of nitric acid and sulphuric acid is known as aqua regia.

luchifer jakson
- new Zealand

May 2017

Hi luchifer. Actually, aqua regia is a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid, in about a 1:3 ratio.

I've always heard that organic chemistry was where the dreams of medical students die; Geoff reminds us that we should take that quite literally :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

NO2 industrial Production Process

June 14, 2017

Q. Dear Teacher,

I need to produce NO2 for special reaction in industrial scale.
Actually I don't want to produce nitric acid but one of way which I considered can be Ostwald's process but finally I don't need nitric acid and just I need NO2.
Another way, also could be Nitric Acid decomposition on mid temperature, it means I can proceed ammonia decomposition on Pt catalyst to produce NO and then to NO2, if the reaction atmosphere has enough amount of H2O then I will have nitric acid and then by it's decomposition NO2 will be produced.
I would like to have your valuable comment on my uncooked concept to prove it to obtain cooked and feasible solution.
Thanks In advance

Amin Shahbazi
- Science & technology university of Iran- Tehran-Iran

Want 2:1 ratio of acids, but 1 Normality

January 18, 2018

Q. Mixture of H2SO4 and HNO3 (2:1 ratio) ... How is it prepared with 1 Normality?
Please specify.

Harshada Pandilwar
- Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

January 2018

A. Hi, Harshada. Sorry but I don't quite understand the question. If it's 2:1 in Normality, which one is supposed to be 1 Normal? If it's 2:1 by weight, I'm not understanding at all. Please explain your situation. Is this a hypothetical question for student homework, or are you actually trying to prepare a solution for some specific purpose? Thanks!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

February 5, 2018

A. Hi Harshada,

2:1 ratio in acids is:

1) 2:1 in volume? Which concentration each?
2) 2:1 in weight? Of pure or diluted acids?
3) 2:1 molar?

Then, when you have the solution (Option 1a-b, 2a-b or 3), you count all your available protons (H+) and you must dilute your solution until you have 1 mol protons per liter (or, by definition 1 N Acid).

Your definition is diffuse in the first part, so clarify and then just add some water :)


Daniel Montanes
TEL - N FERRARIS - Canuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina

February 18, 2018

Q. Hello everybody
Can I use sulphuric acid instead of nitric acid to form an aqua regia?
I have hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid only.


meso shamo
- alqaara, aseer, saudi arabia

February 2018

A. Hi Musfer. Warning: although you don't need to understand exactly how a watch works to safely use one, you do need to understand chemistry to safely use acids.

Sulfuric acid cannot be substituted for nitric acid because aqua regia requires a strong oxidant, and sulfuric acid is not one; but sodium nitrate can be used as a substitute for nitric acid. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

February 18, 2018

thumbs up sign I appreciate your great advice.
Thanks a lot sir

meso shamo [returning]
- alqaara, aseer, albashaier

March 15, 2018

Q. How can I separate H2SO4 98% and HNO3 68%? We are using this formulation for fuming nitric acid production. We still can detect both acid in our product and waste.

kaki bangku
- Kulai, johor, malaysia

March 2018

? Hi Kaki. Please provide all the important details of your actual situation so people can actually understand what problems and restrictions you are faced with and try to offer practical solutions. Thanks.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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