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Nitrate and Nitrite Compounds, Inorganic

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There are 63 chemical datasheets assigned to this reactive group.

What are reactive groups?

Reactive groups are categories of chemicals that typically react in similar ways because they are similar in their chemical structure. Each substance with a chemical datasheet has been assigned to one or more reactive groups, and CAMEO Chemicals uses the reactive group assignments to make its reactivity predictions. More info about reactivity predictions...

If you can't find a chemical in the database--but you know what reactive group it belongs in--you can add the reactive group to MyChemicals instead in order to see the reactivity predictions.

Flammability
These compounds are explosive.
Reactivity
Compounds in this group can act as exceedingly potent oxidizing agents, and mixtures with reducing agents or reduced materials such as organic substances can be explosive. However, compounds such as ammonium nitrate will explode even with virtually no reduced material present. Generally, for these explosions to occur a significant amount of initiating energy must be supplied.

In general, nitrate and nitrite salts with redox-active cations are more reactive with organic materials and reducing agents at ambient conditions. Redox-active cations are transition metals and the metals in group 3a, 4a, and 5a of the periodic table as well as the ammonium cation [NH4]+. In general, nitrate and nitrite salts with non-redox active cations (also called spectator cations) are less reactive at ambient conditions. These include the alkali metals and alkaline earth salts.

Because of the wide range of reactivity with these salts, this tool will be conservative and generally predict a high hazard with other materials, especially organics. However, in many cases, as explained above, some mixtures may be perfectly benign. Consequently, inadvertent mixtures with inorganic nitrate or nitrite salts need to be vetted carefully on an individual basis. Caution should be used before proceeding. Further research of comparable examples in the literature or very small scale, carefully controlled experiments may be needed to fully assess compatibility.
Toxicity
Humans are subject to nitrate toxicity, with infants being especially vulnerable to methemoglobinemia due to nitrate metabolizing triglycerides present at higher concentrations than at other stages of development.
Other Characteristics
The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion with the molecular formula [NO3]- and is the conjugate base of nitric acid. Almost all inorganic nitrate salts are soluble in water at standard temperature and pressure. A common example of an inorganic nitrate salt is potassium nitrate (saltpeter). Nitrate compounds have a wide range of uses which rely on their activity as oxidizing agents, the presence of freely available nitrogen, or their high solubility. Potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate are widely used as strong oxidizing agents, most notably in explosives where the rapid decomposition of nitrate into its constituent elements frees up large volumes of reactive oxygen. Nitrates are widely used in very large quantities as fertilizers in agriculture because of their readiness to decompose and release nitrogen for plant growth and because of their ready solubility ensuring that nitrate ions can be absorbed by plant root hairs. Nitrate compounds are widely used as industrial feedstock where an oxidizing agent or source of nitrate ion is required.
Examples
Aluminum nitrate, barium nitrate, didymium nitrate, nickel nitrite, potassium nitrate, sodium nitrite, uranyl nitrate.

Use the links below to find out how this reactive group interacts with any of the reactive groups in the database.

The predicted hazards and gas byproducts for each reactive group pair will be displayed, as well as documentation and references that were used to make the reactivity predictions.

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