Nitric Acid

Nitric acid (HNO3), also known as aqua fortis, is a highly corrosive fuming mineral acid.

The pure compound is colorless with a pungent odor. Nitric acid is one of the most widely used digestion reagents and the most widely used primary oxidant for the decomposition of organic matter. Most commercially available nitric acid has a concentration of 67% in water.

The principal method of manufacturing nitric acid is the catalytic oxidation of ammonia.  Chemical experts consider nitric acid a strong acid because it breaks up in water into H+ and NO3 ions.

NNO3 is a common laboratory reagent and an important industrial chemical in manufacturing fertilizers and explosives. Manufacturers use nitric acid to produce ammonium nitrate and calcium ammonium nitrate, commonly used in fertilizers and manufacturing stainless steel.

Northstar’s Nitric Acid Products

Northstar provides nitric acid 67% (42 Baume) or Nitric acid 57% (38 Baume) or dilutions of lower concentration.

We offer nitric acid in bulk and mini-bulk.

Please contact us to discuss your needs or to get additional info on our Mini-Bulk Tank Loan Program for this product.

Largest Uses of Nitric Acid

Manufacturers of fertilizer use the greatest amount (80%) of nitric acid produced in the US. Fertilizer manufacturers use about 96% of their nitric acid share to make ammonium nitrate and calcium ammonium nitrate.

Stainless steel manufacturers also use nitric acid. Stainless steel is an inherently corrosion-resistant material. However, when manufacturers machine, form, or fabricate stainless steel, the process can introduce free iron to the steel’s surface. The free iron can corrode the steel independent of the base material.

Nitric acid removes this free iron and promotes the growth of a thin, dense protective oxide layer, which maximizes the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel.

Nitric Acid Functions:

  • Strong acid
  • Oxidizing agent
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Metal treatment
  • Fertilizer
  • Explosives
  • Plastics
  • Photographic films
  • Dyes

Manufacturers Use Nitric Acid for These Applications:

  • As a component of adhesives used in food packaging and paperboard
  • For ingredients in cleaning and sanitization blends
  • In fertilizer manufacturing of ammonium nitrate and calcium nitrate
  • In creating calcium ammonium nitrate to process commercial dyes
  • For making furniture varnish, especially lacquer
  • As a pH buffer and cleaning agent
  • To preserve water samples, which require metal analysis
  • As a component in making explosives
  • In rocket propellants as an oxidizer
  • In mining for the purification of gold and silver
  • In the purification of silver nitrate used in making photographic films and medicines
  • In making dyestuffs, manufacturers use nitric acid in applying substrates (e.g. fiber, paper, cosmetics, hair) to intensely colored compounds
  • As an important reagent in the laboratory

Northstar’s Nitric Acid Certifications

The nitric acid provided by Northstar Chemical meets the following certifications: Hala and Technical Grade.

For more information, visit our certifications & listings page.