How can tin nitrate be synthesized? Mixing nitric acid and tin makes tin oxide (I did this in chemistry class) so how can tin nitrate be created?


2 Answers 2


A quick look into some search engine results for tin nitrate yielded this source, which rather interestingly even comes with a video of the reaction. That probably isn't among the main routes to generate tin nitrate, though.

It seems the direct reaction of tin and nitric acid actually can yield tin nitrate, but only in cold dilute nitric acid, and even then only as a metastable solution. This article goes deeper into the synthesis of tin nitrate.

  • $\begingroup$ It seems the first link actually has a great deal of short videos for experiments. That's an unexpectedly good find! $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 23:57

It appears that a clean preparation of stannous (or stannic nitrate), other than by the possible direct action of gaseous NO2 on SnO (or SnO2?), as suggested generally by Wikipedia below, is not readily found. To quote:

Conversion to nitrates

NO2 is used to generate anhydrous metal nitrates from the oxides:[10]

$\ce{MO + 3 NO2 → M(NO3)2 + NO}$

Or with, for example, stannous oxide possibly creating stannous nitrate:

$\ce{SnO + 3 NO2 → Sn(NO3)2 + NO}$

Research finds the following source relating to a detection sensor employing nano-SnO, to quote:

We attributed this to the larger depletion layer change induced by the stronger adsorption of the reactive species at the surface of the material coupled with faster charge transfer kinetics [7,12]. Besides, first-principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations showed that adsorbed NO2 species have relatively high mobility over the Sn-O surface [36], especially at high temperatures and small area surfaces like in a single-element device, allowing two NO2 molecules to react in the material surface generating NO and NO3, in which the latter is much more effective to remove electrons from the semiconductor rather than the NO2 [36], thereby achieving overall a 1 ppm limit of detection - well below the toxic limits. Moreover, even with NO3 having a stronger bonding energy than NO2, it helps to stabilize the baseline once there is no evidence of NO3 desorbing and leaving oxygen species on the semiconductor surface.

So, it may be possible employing mildly heated nano-SnO with NO2 exposure to create stannous nitrate.

An example of a not clean path, per a source (which extracts its content from old, and at times very dated, chemistry journals), to quote:

According to C. H. H. Walker, tin dissolves in nitric acid forming stannous and stannic nitrates, the relative proportion of these two salts produced depending on the temperature and the strength of the acid; moreover, the yellowish white precipitate which separates when the somewhat concentrated acid is employed is said to be a hydrated, ill-defined, stannic nitrate.

Here is a suggested possible path being based on the known REDOX reaction of elemental tin with a cupric salt, which, in the current case would be cupric nitrate forming stannous nitrate:

$\ce{Sn(s) + 2 Cu(II) (aq) -> Sn(II) (aq) + 2 Cu(I)}$

Source: Page 29 at this reference.

Unclear if the formed Cuprous nitrate is even soluble here, where its precipitation would be ideal leaving just stannous nitrate. If the Cu(I) is actually soluble, as long as the solution remains acidic, pump in air to recycle the cuprous to cupric. In the presence of metal Tin, the REDOX will stay active forming more stannous nitrate! Note: this path requires copper nitrate which can be easily prepared from available reagents. Namely, create an aqueous stoichiometric mix of KNO3 and CuSO4, and freeze-out the K2SO4 hydrate leaving highly soluble aqueous Cu(NO3)2. Just discovered a reference noting that the very route (KNO3+CuSO4 acting on Tin) is cited as route to a basic stannous nitrate at this source.


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