Starting a project that requires the use of aluminum nitrate? This simple buyer’s guide will help you familiarize yourself with the compound to ensure your next project is a success.
Introducing Aluminum Nitrate: The Basics
Aluminum nitrate (Al(NO3)3·9H2O) is a water-soluble, solid chemical compound of aluminum and nitric acid. Physically, it is an odorless, white crystallized solid. It has an oxidizing effect on other substances. Though noncombustible, aluminum nitrate can be used to speed the burn of other combustible materials.
Aluminum nitrate is known by a few other names including:
- aluminum(III) nitrate(1:3)
- aluminum trinitrate
- nitric acid, aluminum salt
- nitric acid, aluminum(3+) salt.
- Molecular weight of 213 g/mol
- Melting point of 73.5 °C.
- Decomposes at 150 °C and in hot water. It releases toxic nitrogen oxides in the decomposition process.
- Complexity of 18.8
- Accepts 9 hydrogen bonds
- Contains 13 heavy atoms
Manufacturing aluminum nitrate is not a straightforward process. Aluminum cannot simply be combined with nitric acid as the aluminum will react by forming a protective film. Instead, a multi-step process must be followed.
First, aluminum is dissolved in a solution of hydrochloric acid. This produces aluminum trichloride. Next, nitric acid is added to the solution. The solution will bubble as the nitric acid oxidizes and the solution slowly releases a toxic gas of nitrosyl chloride. Once the solution clarifies, the resulting aluminum nitrate is crystallized. The end product is the white, crystallized solid.
Aluminum nitrate is used in numerous applications across various industries. Chiefly, it helps the industrial world run smoothly. One of its most common uses is as a corrosion inhibitor on machinery and other industrial equipment.
Leather producers use aluminum nitrate as part of the tanning process. But aluminum nitrate is used to manufacture a number of products including incandescent light bulbs, insulating papers, and textiles where it is used as a mordant. Petroleum refiners use it as a catalyst and it is even used to create nuclear power.
Purities and Grades Available
The level of chemical purity you should purchase will depend heavily on how you will be using it. Aluminum nitrate can be purchased in varying degrees of purity, from low purity technical grade to the highest purity ACS Reagent grade.
The ACS Reagent grade means that it is compliant with the American Chemical Society’s ACS Reagent specifications. The specifications are outlined in their publication, Reagent Chemicals. In order to remain in compliance, the chemical must meet the specifications detailed in the most recent edition of Reagent Chemicals. This grade has become the industry benchmark for high purity chemicals used in chemical analysis and physical testing.
Noah Chemicals specializes in high purity chemicals and offers two types of high purity aluminum nitrate:
Discover these and other aluminum compounds in Noah Chemicals’ extensive online catalog. Or contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable in-house chemists about custom chemicals or bulk ordering.