Mercury(I) nitrate

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Mercury(I) nitrate[1][2]
IUPAC name
Mercury(I) nitrate
Other names
Mercurous nitrate
ECHA InfoCard 100.202.814
EC Number
  • 233-886-4
Hg2(NO3)2 (anhydrous)
Hg2(NO3)2·2H2O (dihydrate)
Molar mass 525.19 g/mol (anhydrous)
561.22 g/mol (dihydrate)
Appearance white monoclinic crystals (anhydrous)
colorless crystals (dihydrate)
Density ? g/cm3 (anhydrous)
4.8 g/cm3 (dihydrate)
Melting point ? (anhydrous)
decomposes at 70 °C (dihydrate)
slightly soluble, reacts
−27.95·10−6 cm3/mol
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Related compounds
Other anions
Mercury(I) fluoride
Mercury(I) chloride
Mercury(I) bromide
Mercury(I) iodide
Other cations
Mercury(II) nitrate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Mercury(I) nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula Hg2(NO3)2. It is used in the preparation of other mercury(I) compounds, and is toxic.


Mercury(I) nitrate is formed when elemental mercury is combined with dilute nitric acid (concentrated nitric acid will yield mercury(II) nitrate). Mercury(I) nitrate is a reducing agent which is oxidized upon contact with air.

Mercuric nitrate can be reacted with elemental mercury to form mercurous nitrate.[citation needed]

Solutions of mercury(I) nitrate are acidic due to slow reaction with water:

Hg2(NO3)2 + H2O ⇌ Hg2(NO3)(OH) + HNO3

Hg2(NO3)(OH) forms a yellow precipitate.

If the solution is boiled or exposed to light, mercury(I) nitrate undergoes a disproportionation reaction yielding elemental mercury and mercury(II) nitrate:[2]

Hg2(NO3)2 ⇌ Hg + Hg(NO3)2

These reactions are reversible; the nitric acid formed can redissolve the basic salt.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Lide, David R. (1998), Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (87 ed.), Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, pp. 4–45, ISBN 0-8493-0594-2
  2. ^ a b Patnaik, Pradyot (2003), Handbook of Inorganic Chemical Compounds, McGraw-Hill Professional, p. 573, ISBN 0-07-049439-8, retrieved 2009-07-20
Salts and covalent derivatives of the nitrate ion