Dear Learned Ones…
Several years ago when confronted with the assertion that we couldn’t store nitric acid and acetic acid together (or nitric acid n a wooden shelf) because they were incompatible I conducted an experiment.
1. I took glacial acetic acid and added concentrated nitric acid while stirring, anticipating a reaction… nothing happened. It didn’t get hot, cold or have gas evolve
2. So after reaching a 50:50 mix I began heating while stirring (did I mention this was in a hood with proper PPE and a written procedure way back in the early 1990’s)
3. I got in boiling and still there was no obvious reaction.
4. Now I added pencil shavings in small amounts in the belief it would catch on fire…
5. Nothing apparent happened.
6. So I added more.
7. Finally after 20 minutes mild boiling with concentrated nitric, glacial acetic and wood pieces I squirted just a drop of acetone a definitely got the reaction I expected (flame)
Does anyone have a real world experience where nitric acid caused an unwanted reaction with acetic acid or a wooden shelf?
Russell Vernon, Ph.D.
Environmental Health & Safety
University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave
Riverside, CA 92521
Direct (951) 827-5119
Admin (951) 827-5528
Fax (951) 827-5122
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