Nitric acid, $\ce{HNO3}$, is a strong oxidising agent as well as fluorine, $\ce{F2}$. What will be the reaction when pure $\ce{F2}$ gas is bubbled through 100% pure $\ce{HNO3}$. While searching, many products are suggested including $\ce{HF}$, $\ce{O2}$, $\ce{H2O}$, $\ce{NO}$, $\ce{NO2}$, $\ce{NF3}$, $\ce{NO2FO}$, etc.. What is correct?


1 Answer 1


It was first discovered by Cady that when fluorine is bubbled through $\pu{3 N}$ nitric acid, then a remarkable compound, fluorine nitrate ($\ce{FNO3}$) is formed. It boils at $\pu{-42 ^\circ C}$ and is a very strong oxidizing agent and is capable of liberating iodine from iodides and in gaseous states, it explodes around $\pu{200-300 ^\circ C}$.


  1. The reaction of Fluorine with Nitric acid and with solid Potassium Nitrate to form NO3F by Don M. Yost and Alan Beerbower, J. Am. Chem. Soc. April 1935, 57(4) 782. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/ja01307a520

  2. Prof. Dr. Otto Ruff, Dr. Walter Kwasnikie, Die Fluorierung der Salpetersäure. Das Nitroxyfluorid – NO3F, April 1935, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ange.19350481604 [German paper]


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