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Sodium nitrate (CAS Number: 7631-99-4) is a compound with the chemical formula NaNO3. This mineral is also known as soda niter, nitratite and nitratine. It is a white solid, which is highly soluble in water. Nitrate anions sourced from this chemical are used for various industrial reactions to produce pyrotechnics, pottery enamels, glass, fertilizers and food preservatives.



Sodium nitrate is obtained through processing caliche, which is a sedimentary rock. It can also be synthesized through the neutralization reaction of sodium carbonate/sodium bicarbonatewithnitric acid:

NaHCO3+HNO3 → NaNO3 + H2O + CO2

Na2CO3+2 HNO3 → 2 NaNO3 + H2O + CO2

It can be obtained by neutralizing it with sodium hydroxide as well.

NaOH+HNO3 → NaNO3 + H2O



- Sodium nitrate finds applications in the food industry as a food additive, preservative and poultry color fixative.

- Hobbyist gold refiners buy sodium nitrate and use it to make aqua regia solution, which dissolves gold, platinum and other noble metals.

- Sodium nitrate suppliers sell the chemicals for use as oxidizer in fireworks and as a constituent of instant cold packs.

- Sodium nitrate is used for heat transfer in solar power plants for heat storage. Industries like wastewater industry buy sodium nitrate for facultative microorganism respiration.

- Marine aquarists also buy sodium nitrate to increase level of nitrate in water for optimal bacterial growth.



Sodium nitrate causes irritation to the eyes and the skin as well as the respiratory tract. The symptoms of ingestion include vomiting and nausea. It can damage organs such liver and heart through repeated exposure. Prolonged exposure could cause oral cancer. Sodium nitrate suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and other industry users who buy sodium nitrate must be aware of the toxicity of the compound. 


Handling and Storage

Provide proper ventilation at the workplace to avoid accumulation of toxic vapor. Take measures to prevent contact with combustible materials. Special instructions must be given before use of sodium nitrate. Sodium nitrate suppliers, buyers and plant personnel must only handle after learning and understanding safety precautions. Proper grounding measure must be in place to prevent static electricity build up. Container should be kept in a cool place with apt ventilation. Sodium nitrate must be kept away from heat, combustible, direct sunlight and ignition sources. It should not be kept with incompatible substance like strong oxidizers and reducing agents. Sodium nitrate suppliers should carefully handle and store the chemical compound.


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