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Sodium nitrate(CAS No. 7631-99-4;15621-57-5)

Sodium nitrate NaNO3 (cas 7631-99-4;15621-57-5) Molecular Structure

7631-99-4;15621-57-5 Structure

Identification and Related Records

Sodium nitrate
【CAS Registry number】
Soda niter
Sodium nitrate for industrial use

【Molecular Formula】
NaNO3 (Products with the same molecular formula)
【Molecular Weight】
【Canonical SMILES】

Chemical and Physical Properties

【Melting Point】
【Boiling Point】
900 g/L (20℃)
【Spectral properties】
Index of refraction = 1.587 (trigonal); 1.336 (rhombohedral)
【Computed Properties】
Molecular Weight:84.99467 [g/mol]
Molecular Formula:NNaO3
H-Bond Donor:0
H-Bond Acceptor:3
Rotatable Bond Count:0
Exact Mass:84.977588
MonoIsotopic Mass:84.977588
Topological Polar Surface Area:62.9
Heavy Atom Count:5
Formal Charge:0
Isotope Atom Count:0
Defined Atom Stereocenter Count:0
Undefined Atom Stereocenter Count:0
Defined Bond Stereocenter Count:0
Undefined Bond Stereocenter Count:0
Covalently-Bonded Unit Count:2

Safety and Handling

【Hazard Codes】
 O:Oxidizing agent; Xn:Harmful;
【Risk Statements】
【Safety Statements 】
【Skin, Eye, and Respiratory Irritations】
The substance is irritating to the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract.
【Cleanup Methods】
Sweep spilled substance into plastic or glass containers. Wash away remainder with plenty of water.
SRP: /Laboratory quantities/ For solid: Sweep into a beaker. Dilute with sufficient water. Ad soda ash. Mix and neutralize with 6M-HCl. Drain into the sewer with abundant water. For solution: Cover with soda ash. After mixing, transfer into a beaker containing water. Neutralize with 6M-HCl. Drain into the sewer with abundant water.
【Fire Fighting Procedures】
Use abundant amount of water in early stages of fire. When large quantities are involved in fire, nitrate may fuse or melt, in such conditions, application of water may result in extensive scattering of molten material.
If material on fire or involved in fire: Flood with water. Cool all affected containers with flooding quantities of water. Apply water from as far a distance as possible.
【Fire Potential】
Not combustible but enhances combustion of other substances ... /Sodium nitrate/ is a strong oxidant and reacts with combustible and reducing materials, causing fire and explosion hazard.
Flames up when heated to 540 deg C. ...
Association of American Plant Food Control Officials defines /sodium nitrate/ follows: Nitrate of soda (sodium nitrate) is chiefly the sodium salt of nitric acid. It shall contain not less than 16% nitrate nitrogen & 26% sodium.
Purified grade contains at least 99% sodium nitrate.
Grade: Granular, sticks, powder; crude; 99.5%; double refined; recrystallized; CP; technical; reagent; diuretic; FCC.
Chile saltpeter is marketed as both a "granular" product (mainly used as a fertilizer) and a coarse crystalline product. Technical-grade synthetic sodium nitrate is a fine, crystalline white powder with a bulk density of about 1.36 kg/L. It is sold as an untreated product and also as a free-flowing product containing up to 0.1% alkyl aryl sulfonate as an anticaking agent.
/As of 1991/ sodium nitrate /was/ used with other components as an active ingredient to control mammals such as woodchucks, ground squirrels, and coyotes in open fields, non-crop areas, rangelands, lawns and golf courses. The three end-use products, two containing 65% a.i. sodium nitrate and one with 46.2% sodium nitrate, are all used as fumigant gas cartridges designed to be placed in burrows. The sodium nitrate supports the combustion of charcoal in the formulation of each product.
【DOT Emergency Guidelines】
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Fire or Explosion: These substances will accelerate burning when involved in a fire. Some may decompose explosively when heated or involved in a fire. May explode from heat or contamination. Some will react explosively with hydrocarbons (fuels). May ignite combustibles (wood, paper, oil, clothing, etc.). Containers may explode when heated. Runoff may create fire or explosion hazard.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Health: Inhalation, ingestion or contact (skin, eyes) with vapors or substance may cause severe injury, burns or death. Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Public Safety: CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number ... . As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids. Keep unauthorized personnel away. Stay upwind. Keep out of low areas. Ventilate closed spaces before entering.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Protective Clothing: Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Wear chemical protective clothing that is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. It may provide little or no thermal protection. Structural firefighters' protective clothing will only provide limited protection.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Evacuation: Large spill: Consider initial downwind evacuation for at least 100 meters (330 feet). Fire: If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Fire: Small fires: Use water. Do not use dry chemicals or foams. CO2, or Halon may provide limited control. Large fires: Flood fire area with water from a distance. Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk. Do not move cargo or vehicle if cargo has been exposed to heat. Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles. Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out. ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire. For massive fire, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ Spill or Leak: Keep combustibles (wood, paper, oil, etc.) away from spilled material. Do not touch damaged containers or spilled material unless wearing appropriate protective clothing. Stop leak if you can do it without risk. Do not get water inside containers. Small dry spills: With clean shovel place material into clean, dry container and cover loosely; move containers from spill area. Small liquid spills: Use a non-combustible material like vermiculite or sand to soak up the product and place into a container for later disposal. Large spills: Dike far ahead of liquid spill for later disposal. Following product recovery, flush area with water.
/GUIDE 140: OXIDIZERS/ First Aid: Move victim to fresh air. Call 911 or emergency medical service. Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing. Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult. Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes. Contaminated clothing may be a fire risk when dry. In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes. Keep victim warm and quiet. Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves.
【Exposure Standards and Regulations】
Drug products containing certain active ingredients offered over-the-counter (OTC) for certain uses. A number of active ingredients have been present in OTC drug products for various uses, as described below. However, based on evidence currently available, there are inadequate data to establish general recognition of the safety and effectiveness of these ingredients for the specified uses: sodium nitrate is included in orally administered menstrual drug products.
【Reactivities and Incompatibilities】
Interaction of nitrates when heated with amidosulfates (sulfamates) may become explosively violent owing to liberation of dinitrogen oxide and steam. /Nitrates/
A study of the kinetics in attack of magnesium by molten sodium nitrate indicates that decomposition of the nitrate releases oxygen atoms which oxidize the metal so exothermally that ignition ensues.
Fibrous organic material (jute storage bags) is oxidized in contact with sodium nitrate above 160 deg C and will ignite below 220 deg C. Wood and similar cellulosic materials are rendered highly combustible by nitrate impregnation.
Mixtures of /sodium/ nitrate with powdered aluminum or its oxide (the latter seems unlikely) were reported to be explosive. ... A violent explosion in a copper smelting works was caused mainly by reaction of aluminum with sodium nitrate.
Mixtures /of barium thiocyanate and sodium nitrate/ may explode.
Interaction of sodium nitrate and sodium alone, or dissolved in liquid ammonia, eventually gives a yellow explosive compound.
Oxidizable substances, organic materials.
Mixture with powdered antimony explodes.
Mixture with charcoal ignites on heating.
Mixture /with sodium thiosulfate or sodium phosphinate/ explodes on heating.
Use of mixtures of metal nitrates with acetic anhydride as a nitrating agent may be hazardous, depending on the proportions of reactants and on the cation ... sodium nitrate usually causes violent reactions ...
Mixtures of the nitrate with powdered aluminium or its oxide (the latter seems unlikely) were reported to be explosive, and the performance characteristics of flares containing compressed mixtures of the metal and nitrate have been evaluated. A violent explosion in a copper smelting works was caused mainly by reaction of aluminium with sodium nitrate.
During investigation of pyrotechnic flare formulations, it was found that mixtures of the metal powder /eg aluminium/ and oxidant /eg sodium nitrate/ underwent a low-temp exothermic reaction at 70 to 135 deg C in presence of moisture.
A veterinary preparation containing the oxidant and reducant materials /arsenic trioxide, iron(II) sulfate, and sodium nitrate/ (possibly with some additional combustibles) ignited spontaneously.
The induction periods for the reaction of sodium nitrate-bitumen mixtures (43:57 wt) heated at 195, 234 or 260 deg C are 44, 2 and 0.5 hr, respectively. Further study of sodium nitrate/bitumenized waste systems held at these temp showed an initial weak exotherm around 260 deg C and a larger exotherm (0.96 to 1.21 kJ/g) accompanied by 50% wt loss around 430 deg C.
Deflagration occurs /when boron phosphide/ in contact with molten alkali metal nitrates /eg sodium nitrate/.
Combustion of the /calcium-silicon/ alloy in admixture with sodium nitrate is mentioned in an explosive context ...
Solid crude sodium nitrate packed in jute bags sometimes ignited the latter in storage. Normally ignition did not occur below 240 deg C, but in cases where magnesium chloride (up to 16%) was present, ignition occurred at 130 deg C. This was attributed to formation of magnesium nitrate hexahydrate, which hydrolyses above its mp (90 deg C) liberating nitric acid. the latter was thought to have caused ignition of the jute bags under unusual conditions of temp and friction.
A rotary drum had been used previously to dry metal components which had been heat-treated in /sodium/ nitrate-/sodium/ nitrite molten salt baths, washed, then tumble dried with ground maize husks to absorb adhering water. When the drum was taken out of service, it was not cleaned out. After some 10 mo it was recommissioned, but while being heated up to operating temp, an explosion occurred which ejected flame jets for several meters. This was attributed to presence of considerable contamination of the maize husks by metal nitrate-nitrite residues, and ignition on heating of such material was confirmed experimentally.
Contact of powdered charcoal with the molten /sodium/ nitrate, or of the solid /sodium/ nitrate with glowing charcoal, causes vigorous combustion of the carbon ... Charcoal powder-nitrate mixtures burn briskly at 200 deg C.
/Sodium nitrate/ may lead to explosive decomposition of the /peroxyformic acid (methaneperoxoic acid)/.
When the /sodium nitrate/ salt-/trifluoroacetic/ acid nitration mixture was applied to phenol, a potential hazardous rapid exothermic reaction occurred producing tar.
Accidental mixing of /sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite and sodium sulfide/ caused a violent explosion.
Reaction of ammonium hexanitrocerate and cyclopentadienylsodium under inert conditions gives tri(cyclopentadienyl)cerium and sodium nitrate, removed by filtration before evaporation of solvent. When the filtration step was omitted, and the evaporated solid mixture was heated to 75 deg C, a violent explosion occurred. This may have involved complexes of the type Ce(NO3)Cp2.NaNO3, but a direct redox reaction between the reactive CeCp3 and the oxidant is also possible.
When organic matter is destroyed for residue analysis by heating with equimolar potassium nitrate-sodium nitrate mixture to 390 deg C, a 20-fold excess of nitrate must be used. If over 10% of organic matter is present, pyrotechnic reaction occur which could be explosive. Subsequent to an explosion while a citric acid-sodium nitrate mixture was being heated at below 500 deg C, experiments on the effect of heating various organic materials with metal nitrates showed the tendency for explosion to increase from magnesium through calcium to sodium nitrate. This is in the order of mp of the nitrates, and explosion may occur when the nitrates melt and make intimate contact with the organic matter. Pretreatment with nitric acid may reduce the explosion risk.
A mixture of ... /barium rhodanide and sodium nitrate/ may cause an explosion.
Addition of cyanides to a molten /sodium/ nitrate bath (or vice versa) will result in an explosion.
A mixture of sodium nitrate and sodium hypophosphite constitutes a powerful explosive.
The familiar black powder explosion begins with the reaction, sulfur-plus-sodium-nitrate, which produces the energy to initiate the carbon-plus-sodium nitrate explosion.
【Other Preventative Measures】
SRP: The scientific literature for the use of contact lenses in industry is conflicting. The benefit or detrimental effects of wearing contact lenses depend not only upon the substance, but also on factors including the form of the substance, characteristics and duration of the exposure, the uses of other eye protection equipment, and the hygiene of the lenses. However, there may be individual substances whose irritating or corrosive properties are such that the wearing of contact lenses would be harmful to the eye. In those specific cases, contact lenses should not be worn. In any event, the usual eye protection equipment should be worn even when contact lenses are in place.
If material not on fire and not involved in fire: Keep sparks, flames, and other sources of ignition away. Keep material out of water sources and sewers.
Personnel protection: ... Do not handle broken packages unless wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Wash away any material which may have contacted the body with copious amounts of water or soap and water. ... Approach fire with caution.
NO contact with combustibles and reducing agents ... PREVENT DISPERSION OF DUST ... Local exhaust or breathing protection ... Do not eat, drink, or smoke during work. Wash hands before eating ... Rinse contaminated clothes (fire hazard) with plenty of water. Specific treatment is necessary in case of poisoning with this substance; the appropriate means with instructions must be available.
Approximately 14 million households in the United States use private wells to supply their drinking water (Bureau of the Census 1993). In agricultural areas, nitrogen-based fertilizers are a major source of contamination for shallow groundwater aquifers that provide drinking water. A recent United States Geological Survey study showed that >8,200 wells nationwide were contaminated with nitrate levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standard of 10 parts per million (ppm). ... Because of the risks for potential adverse health effects, persons who use drinking water that contains nitrate levels >10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) should have alternative sources of water or appropriate treatment of existing supplies. Information regarding testing of well water can be obtained from city or county health departments. Other sources of nitrate contamination are organic animal wastes and contamination from septic sewer systems, especially in wells
【Protective Equipment and Clothing】
The substance is irritating to the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract.
【Disposal Methods】
SRP: The most favorable course of action is to use an alternative chemical product with less inherent propensity for occupational exposure or environmental contamination. Recycle any unused portion of the material for its approved use or return it to the manufacturer or supplier. Ultimate disposal of the chemical must consider: the material's impact on air quality; potential migration in soil or water; effects on animal, aquatic, and plant life; and conformance with environmental and public health regulations.

Use and Manufacturing

【Use and Manufacturing】
Methods of Manufacturing

.../It is/ produced synthetically by reacting nitric acid with sodium carbonate.
Neutralization of nitric acid with sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide, extraction from the ore with a brine followed by fractional crystallization (non-U.S. method).
... Production of Chile saltpeter from caliche ... Warm (40 - 45 deg C) mother liquor recycled to leaching contains ca. 330 g/L of sodium nitrate. The leaching process is performed in a series of vats, each having a capacity of ca. 1,000 tons of crushed ore. The underflow of each vat is heated before passing to the next one since the dissolution of sodium nitrate is endothermic. Sodium nitrate therefore dissolves preferentially. The product solution obtained after leaching contains 450 g/L of sodium nitrate and is cooled to 5 - 10 deg C in heat exchangers and with ammonia refrigerating equipment. The mother liquor obtained after centrifugation of crystallized sodium nitrate is heated to 40 - 45 deg C with heat from the condensers in the ammonia chilling loop and then with cooling water from the diesel engines used to generate electric power. Crystalline sodium nitrate obtained after centrifugation contains 3.0 - 3.5 % moisture; it is generally melted at ca. 340 deg C and prilled. The granulated product contains only about 1 % sodium chloride. ... Large modern plants also produce coarse crystals of Chile saltpeter, which do not require further processing by melting.
The most important method for producing synthetic sodium nitrate is the reaction of tail gases from nitric acid plants with sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate solution. This method is, however, intended for tail-gas clean-up (removal of nitrogen oxides) rather than for nitrate and nitrite production.
U.S. Exports

(1978) 1.38X10+10 G
(1982) 5.58X10+10 G
(1985) 4.81X10+6 g
U.S. Imports

(1979) 1.27X10+11 G
(1982) 1.18X10+11 G
(1985) 6.44X10+7 g
The U.S. imports 100,000 t/a
U.S. Production

(1977) At least 5.0X10+10 G
(1982) 4.75X10+10 G (EST)
Production volumes for non-confidential chemicals reported under the Inventory Update Rule. Year Production Range (pounds) 1986 No Reports 1990 >10 thousand-500 thousand 1994 >10 thousand-500 thousand 1998 >10 thousand-500 thousand 2002 No Reports

Biomedical Effects and Toxicity

【Pharmacological Action】
- Substances that increase the risk of NEOPLASMS in humans or animals. Both genotoxic chemicals, which affect DNA directly, and nongenotoxic chemicals, which induce neoplasms by other mechanism, are included.
【Biomedical Effects and Toxicity】
In humans, ingested nitrate is rapidly absorbed from the proximal small bowel and distributed throughout the body. Nitrate then enters the large bowel from the blood, where it is rapidly converted to highly reactive nitrite, in part by fecal microorganisms. The formed nitrite is reabsorbed into the blood, where it reacts with the ferrous (Fe2+) iron of deoxyhemoglobin, forming methemoglobin with iron in the ferric (Fe3+) valence state. Ferric iron is unable to transport oxygen. Nitrates are rapidly converted in the liver to denitrated metabolites and inorganic nitrites, which are then excreted in urine. Approximately 60% to 70% of an ingested nitrate dose is excreted in urine within the first 24 hours. About 25% is excreted in saliva through an active blood nitrate transport system and potentially is reabsorbed. Half-lives of parent nitrate compounds are usually
... Nitrate is concentrated in saliva, where a part of it is reduced to nitrite by bacterial nitrate reductases. /The authors/ tested if ingestion of inorganic nitrate would affect the salivary and systemic levels of nitrite and S-nitrosothiols, both considered to be circulating storage pools for NO. Levels of nitrate, nitrite, and S-nitrosothiols were measured in plasma, saliva, and urine before and after ingestion of sodium nitrate (10 mg/kg). Nitrate levels increased greatly in saliva, plasma, and urine after the nitrate load. Salivary S-nitrosothiols also increased, but plasma levels remained unchanged. A 4-fold increase in plasma nitrite was observed after nitrate ingestion. If, however, the test persons avoided swallowing after the nitrate load, the increase in plasma nitrite was prevented, thereby illustrating its salivary origin. We show that nitrate is a substrate for systemic generation of nitrite. There are several pathways to further reduce this nitrite to NO. These results challenge the dogma that nitrate is biologically inert and instead suggest that a complete reverse pathway for generation of NO from nitrate exists. [Lundberg JO, Govoni M; Free Radic Biol Med 37 (3): 395-400 (2004)] PubMed Abstract
Nitrite was quickly eliminated from blood plasma of sheep (T1/2 = 0.49 hr). Three hours after its administration, nitrite ion disappeared from blood plasma. Simultaneously the appearance of nitrate was observed. After sodium nitrite or nitrate intravenous administration, the kinetic parameters for nitrate were similar (Kel = 0.150/ h and 0.154/ hr, respectively). Urine excretion of nitrite amounted to only 0.29%+/- 0.22 of the administered dose. Urine excretion of nitrate was 13.80%+/-5.78 of the administered dose of nitrite and was slightly lower than that observed after the administration of nitrate (16.12%+/- 6.95). The quick elimination of nitrite appears to be mainly from its conversion into nitrate, because the nitrate elimination in urine. as well as the values of its kinetic parameters, were similar after the administration of nitrite or nitrate. Elimination of nitrate from blood plasma of sheep over 80% was different than its excretion in urine in the unchanged.
... Sodium ... nitrate /is/ for the most part rapidly absorbed & excreted unchanged ... /following oral ingestion/.
In a study on 4 rats, 42-90% of nitrates, administered by stomach tube, was excreted in the urine within 8 hr of administration. ... A study /was carried out/ on 122 samples of human urine, and /it was/ found that urinary nitrate concentration was related to the amount of nitrate ingested. /Nitrates/
... /Sodium nitrate/ can be absorbed into the body by inhalation of its aerosol and by ingestion.
Oral intake of nitrate and nitrite in food and drinking water is the major route of entry /Nitrate and nitrite poisoning/
Nitrate and nitrite given orally are absorbed and transferred to the blood in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. Abundant pectin in the food may delay absorption which may then occur lower down in the intestine, with possible increased risk for microbial transformation of nitrate into nitrite. /Nitrate and nitrite/
Regardless of route of exposure, nitrate and nitrite are rapidly transferred into the blood. Nitrite is gradually oxidized to nitrate which is readily distributed into most body fluids (urine, saliva, gastric juice, sweat, ileostomy fluid). Distribution of nitrate into plasma, erythrocytes, saliva and urine following an oral dose of sodium nitrate has been demonstrated ... Nitrate does not accumulate in the body. /Nitrate and nitrite/
Approximately 60% of oral nitrate is excreted in urine ... bacterial or endogenous metabolism probably accounts for the remainder. A minor part is excreted in sweat. /Nitrate/

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