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making nitric acid


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theo, perhaps you'd be one of the few people who could safely do this at home. I've seen your posts and your methods actually seem to involve some safety precautions. Many other people arent as smart as that and it's mostly them i'm talking to.

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one, this is a very dangerous reaction if over heated. i have had that happen and the vessel will start to make NO2 instead of HNO3 because of decomp, and two, you need a complete all ground glass distillation setup that has a hose on the vacuum port leading to a gas wash bottle with cold bicarbonate solution in it. if you have all this already in accounted for, then you can CONSIDER making HNO3.

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It's just a lot easier to simply BUY your nitric acid. Then you've got much more pure HNO3, and at a more consistent concentration.


You can usually find a decent deal if you buy it in larger quantities like a 4 gallon HDPE container. Split it up into four 1 gallon dark glass bottles (appropriately marked for hazmat contents), and then you can even separate it out further into 100ml bottles if you need something more convenient to work with in the lab. Then you'll also have more than enough on hand to use for a lifetime of experimentation (for a home chemist).


I'm almost prepared to place an order for 4 gallons, I've got to finish making a specialized storage cabinet/container, and then I'll have my local fire marshall service worker come out to inspect it to see if it's compliant with my county's local codes (which are rather strict & specific)! I know I won't have a full need for FOUR full gallons of it, so I might give some to my uncle to use at his company's medical laboratories - I'm sure he'll appreciate it considering the cost of HNO3.

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While I am quite flattered, the question remains; the toxicity of vapours, accounted for, all one is left with is any heat that may be generated by the reaction. Of course, using a pyrex erlenmeyer flask and beaker, the apparatus can withstand temperatures, ranging up to around 790 degrees, and I strongly doubt that this reaction may exceed this point: that said are there any other dangers one is to be aware of?


Note: My experiments have been momentarily disbanded, by a lack of free time, in which to obtained denatured alcohol for my burner, however, these shall ensue in due time, along with appropriate responses,



,Cheers to all!



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