Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Nitric acid from ammonium nitrate and sodium bisulfate

Chemgineer - 5-2-2024 at 04:09

I normally produce nitric acid by dry distilling magnesium nitrate with sodium bisulfate and it works quite well to produce around 50% concentration.

I was experimenting with using some ammonium nitrate as I happen to have some of it, this time I used a 200g of it in 200ml of water and then added 300g of sodium bisulfate.

This worked but it foamed constantly and was a pain, even blocking the neck of the flask towards the end.

Would it be better to dry distil in the same way as I have done above?

andyloris - 5-2-2024 at 08:31

Don't forget that ammonium nitrate decomposes explosively at high temperatures !
I don't think a dry distillation would be a good idea.

Chemgineer - 6-2-2024 at 15:29

I can't make my mind up on whether this would be safe not and have a respect for ammonium nitrate so for the time being have put this on hold.

Sir_Gawain - 6-2-2024 at 19:11

Even with the low temperature method (AN&sulfuric acid) the ammonium nitrate decomposes to some extent, diluting the acid. I've only been able to achieve 85% nitric acid with ammonium nitrate, while the same sulfuric acid with sodium nitrate produced 99%.