Sodium nitrate

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Colorless, deliquescent crystals that naturally as Caliche in mineral deposits. Sodium nitrate is primarily used as a fertilizer. It is also used in the manufacture of glass, match heads, and explosives.

Synonyms and Related Terms

caliche; Chili niter; Chile nitre; Chile saltpeter; soda niter; cubic niter; dusiènan sodný (Ces.); Natriumnitrat (Deut.); nitrato sódico (Esp.); nitrate de sodium (Fr.); natriumnitraat (Ned.); azotan(V) sodu (Pol.);



Chemical structure

Sodium nitrate.jpg

Hazards and Safety

  • Toxic by ingestion and inhalation.
  • Hygroscopic.
  • Contact may cause irritation.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, glycerol. Slightly soluble in ethanol. Crystals are cubic.

Composition NaNO3
CAS 7631-99-4
Melting Point 308 C
Density 2.267 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 85
Refractive Index 1.5874, 1.3361
Boiling Point 380 C (dec)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 738
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 8792
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index = 1.5874, 1.3361

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