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|Molar mass||47.0134 g/mol|
|Except where noted otherwise, data are given for|
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox disclaimer and references
Nitrous acid is used to make diazides from amines; this occurs by nucleophilic attack of the amine onto the nitrite, reprotonation by the surrounding solvent, and double elimination of water. The diazide can then be liberated as a carbene.
It can be prepared by adding any mineral acid to sodium nitrite.
2HNO2 → NO2 + NO + H2O
4HNO2 → 2HNO3 + N2O + H2O
Nitrous acid is used to prepare diazonium salts:
- HNO2 + ArNH2 + H+ → ArN2+ + 2 H2O
Such salts are widely is used in organic synthesis, e.g. for the Sandmeyer reaction and in the preparation azo dyes, brightly colored compounds that are the basis of a qualitative test for anilines. Nitrous acid is used to destroy toxic and potentially explosive sodium azide. For most purposes, nitrous acid is usually formed in situ by the action of mineral acid on sodium nitrite:
- NaNO2 + HCl → HNO2 + NaCl
- 2 NaN3 + 2 HNO2 → 3 N2 + 2 NO + 2 NaOH
Nitrous acid is an important atmospheric intermediate. It is produced by the heterogeneous reaction of NO2 and water on various surfaces such as atmospheric aerosols. It is readily photolysed to produce hydroxyl radicals which are intricately involved in the ozone budget of the troposphere (lower atmosphere).
- Clarke, H. T.; Kirner, W. R. "Methyl Red" Organic Syntheses, Collected Volume 1, p.374 (1941). http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/pdfs/CV1P0374.pdf
- Prudent practices in the laboratory: handling and disposal of chemicals. National Academy Press. 1995. ISBN 0309052297. Unknown parameter