Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structure

Silver Nitrate

Silver nitrate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula \(AgNO_3\). Silver nitrate consists of an ionic bond between the silver cation i.e., \(Ag^+\) and the nitrate anion \(NO_3^-\). Due to the ionic nature of silver nitrate, it easily dissolves in water and dissociates into its constituent ions. Silver nitrate is a precursor to many other compounds of silver, including the silver compounds that are used in photography. When silver nitrate is compared to silver halides, which are in use in photography because of their sensitivity to light. \(AgNO_3\) is stable when it is exposed to light.

Silver Nitrate

Introduction to Silver Nitrate

The nitrate ion in silver nitrate consists of one nitrogen atom that is surrounded by three oxygen atoms. The nitrogen-oxygen bonds are similar to each other in this ion. The formal charge of the nitrogen atom is -1, whereas each oxygen atom holds a charge of -2/3. The net charge of nitrate ion is -1, it is quenched by the +1 charge held by the \(Ag^+\) ion through an ionic bond in \(AgNO_3\). The structure of the nitrate ion is stabilized due to resonance.

Physical Properties of Silver Nitrate

  • The molar mass of silver nitrate is 169.872 grams per mole.
  • Silver nitrate is colourless and odourless.
  • In its solid state, the density of silver nitrate is 4.35 grams per cubic centimetre. The density of silver nitrate in the liquid state at a temperature of \(210^oC\) is 3.97 g/cm3.
  • The melting and boiling points of silver nitrate are 482.8 K and 713 K respectively.
  • Silver nitrate, like other ionic compounds, dissolves readily in water. The solubility of silver nitrate in water corresponds to 122g/100mL at \(0^oC\) and 256g/100mL at a temperature of \(25^oC\).
  • The crystal structure of the silver nitrate is orthorhombic.

Chemical Properties of Silver Nitrate

  • The hazards of silver nitrate include its toxic and corrosive nature.
  • The reaction of silver nitrate and ethanol is highly explosive.
  • Silver present in silver nitrate is displaced by copper, which forms copper nitrate. The chemical equation for this reaction is

\(2AgNO_3 + Cu \rightarrow  Cu(NO_3)_2 + 2Ag\)

  • When silver nitrate is heated to \(440^oC\), it completely decomposes to give oxygen, nitrogen dioxide, and silver.

Uses of Silver Nitrate

Silver nitrate has many applications in many fields like biology, chemical synthesis, and medicine. Some of these uses of silver nitrate are as follows:

  • Silver nitrate is a versatile compound. The nitrate ion can easily be replaced by other ligands that bind to the silver ion.
  • The ability of silver nitrate to form a precipitate of silver halides when treated with halide ions is in use while making photographic films.
  • Many silver-based explosives are prepared with a precipitation reaction of silver nitrate.
  • In the field of inorganic chemistry, halides are extracted with the help of silver nitrate.
  • The branch of chemistry i.e., analytical chemistry uses this reaction to check for the presence of halide anions like iodide, bromide, or chloride ions.
  • Mixtures of alkenes are separated with the help of silver nitrate as the silver cation binds with alkenes in a reversible fashion.
  • Silver nitrate serves as an antiseptic in many setups of medical.
  • Silver nitrate can be in use for the treatment and the removal of unwanted warts in human beings.

FAQs on Silver Nitrate

Question 1: Is silver nitrate dangerous?

Answer: Silver nitrate is an oxidant and that’s the reason it is kept away from organic compounds. Despite its wide usage for the prevention of gonorrhoea, and to stop bleeding from the nose. Thou silver nitrate is highly toxic and corrosive. Short-term exposure to silver nitrate does not cause any side effects. However, exposure to silver nitrate over a long period can damage the eyes.

Question 2: How is silver nitrate prepared?

Answer: Silver nitrate is prepared by combining silver with nitric acid. Common silver objects in use in these reactions are silver bullions and silver foils. The products formed are silver nitrate, water, and nitrogen oxides. The by-products of this chemical reaction depend on the concentration of nitric acid. It is important to note that this reaction is carried out under a fume hood because of the evolution of poisonous oxides of nitrogen during the reaction.

\(3 Ag + 4 HNO_3 (cold and diluted) \rightarrow 3 AgNO_3 + 2 H_2O + NO\)

\(Ag + 2 HNO_3 (hot and concentrated) \rightarrow AgNO_3 + H_2O + NO_2\)

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