Place 2 mL of Nitric acid in a test tube and add a small piece of Zinc turning

I thought that the overall net ionic equation would be:

$$\ce{Zn + 2H+ -> Zn^2+ + H2}$$

Is this correct? Is the zinc oxidized and the hydrogen reduced? Or have I got this completely wrong?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You have to consider oxidative properties of nitric acid, being reduced to NO2, NO, or even NH4+. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    May 13, 2021 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


You are correct. The net ionic reaction between zinc metal and nitric acid can be written: $$ \ce{Zn + 2 H+(aq) -> Zn^2+(aq) + H2(g)} $$ The oxidation state of zinc changes as it is oxidized from 0 to +2. Similarly, hydrogen's state changes as it reduces from +1 to 0.


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