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How is Nitric Acid Made?
Nitric acid is made from the reaction of ammonia with oxygen.
The first stage produces
(The same gas is formed as a pollutant in petrol engines).
platinum catalyst is used (about
The reaction is highly exothermic and the heat given out by
the reaction is sufficient to keep the reaction going.
monoxide + water.
4NH3(g) + 5O2(g) 4NO(g) + 6H2O(g)
stage involves the reaction
nitrogen monoxide with more oxygen.
monoxide + oxygen
2NO(g) + O2(g) 2NO2(g)
Finally, nitrogen dioxide reacts with water and more oxygen.
dioxide + oxygen + water
4NO2(g) + O2(g) + 2H2O(l) 4HNO3(aq)
The overall reaction is
ammonia + oxygen
nitric acid + water.
4NH3(g) + 8O2(g) 4HNO3(aq) + 4H2O(l)
This is the oxidation of ammonia to produce nitric acid.
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