Why will $\ce{Fe^3+}$ give brown ring test?

In my textbook it was given that ferric ion gives brown ring too. I am confused, if ferric ion is already present, then what will reduce nitrate ion to nitric oxide?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The textbook must've been implying that the complex is $\ce{ [Fe^{III}(H_2O)_5(NO^{-})]^{2+}}$, e.g. it's ferric iron that actually forms the complex. If nitrate is oxidized to nitrosyl by other means, then, yes, iron(III) will also give positive brown ring probe. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Mar 9 '19 at 10:38

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