Lesson Worksheet: Properties of Nitric Acid Chemistry

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the physical and chemical properties and uses of nitric acid.


Nitric acid can be produced by mixing sodium nitrate with sulfuric acid and heating the mixture to 83C. Which of the following is the correct chemical equation for this reaction?

  • ANaNO+HSONaSO+HNO224323
  • CNa(NO)+2HSO2NaSO+HNO+H23244232
  • ENa(NO)+HSONaSO+2HNO322443


Nitric acid is a powerful oxidizing agent and will even react with elemental carbon as the allotrope graphite. The reaction is shown below.


By what value does the oxidation state of nitrogen change during this reaction?


Nitric acid can exist as two major resonance structures. One of these structures is shown here. Which of the following structures is the other major resonance structure adopted by nitric acid?

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E


A student wanted to detect if nitrate ions were present in a solution. They firstly added iron(II) sulfate to the solution before slowly adding concentrated sulfuric acid. They noticed the formation of two layers with a colored ring at the interface. If nitrate ions were present, what color should the ring have been?

  • APurple
  • BBrown
  • CYellow
  • DGreen
  • EBlack


The reaction scheme shows the addition of two solutions together. What color will the resulting solution be?

  • AGreen
  • BRed
  • CPink
  • DBrown
  • EColorless


Magnesium can react with different concentrations of nitric acid to produce different products. Put the following reactions in order from least to most concentrated nitric acid used in the reaction.


  • A1, 2, 3
  • B2, 1, 3
  • C3, 1, 2
  • D2, 3, 1
  • E3, 2, 1


The reaction between copper and a certain concentration of nitric acid, in the absence of atmospheric oxygen, produced Cu(NO)32, HO2, and NO2. Was the nitric acid dilute or concentrated?

  • AConcentrated
  • BDilute


Which of the following is not commonly associated with nitric acid?

  • AIt can be prepared by heating potassium nitrate and concentrated sulfuric acid.
  • BIt is a strong oxidizing agent.
  • CIt produces a red color when adding a few drops of litmus solution.
  • DIt is a weak acid, only partially dissociating in water.
  • EIt is used in the manufacturing of fertilizers and explosives.


What is used with copper metal to prepare nitric oxide gas?

  • ACopper nitrate
  • BConcentrated nitric acid
  • CDiluted nitric acid
  • DPotassium nitrate


Which of the following is not true about nitric acid?

  • AIt reacts with metals as an oxidising agent.
  • BIt decomposes by heat, giving brown fumes of nitrogen dioxide.
  • CIt decomposes by heat, giving brown fumes of nitrogen oxide.
  • DIt can be used in the manufacture of fertilisers.

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