10 Difference Between Nitrate And Nitrite (With Chart)

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What Are Nitrates?

A nitrate is any member of either of two classes of compounds derived from nitric acid, HNO3– and a positive ion such as NH4+. Nitrates are common components of fertilizers and explosives. Examples of nitrates include:

  • Potassium nitrate KNO3)
  • Sodium nitrate (NaNO3)
  • Ammonium nitrate ( NH4NO3) etc.

What You Need To Know About Nitrate

  • The nitrates are chemical compounds, salts of the nitric acid.
  • Nitrate is made up of a nitrogen atom and three oxygen atoms (NO3).
  • The chemical structure of the nitrate is such that the nitrogen atom is located in the center and surrounded by oxygen atoms, which are identically bonded in a planar Trigonal conformation.
  • The molar mass of the nitrate anion (NO3) is 62 g/mol.
  • Nitrates can be reduced to form nitrites.
  • The oxidation number of nitrogen in the nitrates is +5.
  • Almost all nitrate salts are soluble in water.
  • The nitrates are used in the agriculture as mineral fertilizer, used in food processing (colorants and preservatives), production of paints, medicines, plastics, glass, explosives etc.
  • Examples of nitrates include potassium nitrate KNO3), sodium nitrate (NaNO3), ammonium nitrate ( NH4NO3) etc.

What Are Nitrites?

The nitrites are chemical compounds, salts or esters of the nitrous acid. A nitrite can also be described as an intermediate product of the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate. Nitrites are widely used throughout chemical and pharmaceutical industries.  Nitrite anion is a pervasive intermediate in the nitrogen cycle in nature. Examples of nitrite salts include:

  • Ammonium Nitrite
  • Calcium nitrite
  • Sodium nitrite
  • Potassium nitrate

What You Need To Know About Nitrite

  • The nitrites are chemical compounds, salts or esters of the nitrous acid.
  • Nitrite is made up of a nitrogen and two oxygen atom (NO2).
  • The chemical structure of the nitrite is such that the nitrogen atom is located in the center and surrounded by the oxygen atoms, which are identically bonded in a bent molecular geometry shape.
  • The molar mass of the nitrate anion (NO2) is 46 g/mol.
  • Nitrites can be reduced to form nitrogen.
  • Almost nitrate are soluble in water and slightly soluble in primary alcohols.
  • The oxidation number of nitrogen in nitrates is +3.
  • The nitrites are used in the production of meat and fish products.
  • Examples of nitrite salts include: Ammonium Nitrite, calcium nitrite, sodium nitrite and potassium nitrate.

Also Read: Difference Between Amine And Amide

Difference Between Nitrate And Nitrite

BASIS OF COMPARISON NITRATE NITRITE
Description The nitrates are chemical compounds, salts of the nitric acid.   The nitrates are chemical compounds, salts of the nitric acid.  
Composition Nitrate is made up of a nitrogen atom and three oxygen atoms (NO3).   Nitrite is made up of a nitrogen and two oxygen atom (NO2).  
Chemical Structure The chemical structure of the nitrate is such that the nitrogen atom is located in the center and surrounded by oxygen atoms, which are identically bonded in a planar Trigonal conformation.   The chemical structure of the nitrite is such that the nitrogen atom is located in the center and surrounded by the oxygen atoms, which are identically bonded in a bent molecular geometry shape.  
Molar Mass The molar mass of the nitrate anion (NO3) is 62 g/mol.   The molar mass of the nitrate anion (NO2) is 46 g/mol.  
Reduction Nitrates can be reduced to form nitrites.   Nitrites can be reduced to form nitrogen.  
Solubility Almost all nitrate salts are soluble in water.   Almost nitrate are soluble in water and slightly soluble in primary alcohols.  
Oxidation Number The oxidation number of nitrogen in the nitrates is +5.   The oxidation number of nitrogen in nitrates is +3.  
Application The nitrates are used in the agriculture as mineral fertilizer, used in food processing (colorants and preservatives), production of paints, medicines, plastics, glass, explosives etc.   The nitrites are used in the production of meat and fish products.  
Examples Potassium nitrate KNO3), sodium nitrate (NaNO3), ammonium nitrate ( NH4NO3) etc.   Ammonium Nitrite, calcium nitrite, sodium nitrite and potassium nitrate.