Chemistry of Silver Nitrate

It is one of the major compounds of silver. It is also named as lunar caustic.

Preparation:

It is prepared by dissolving silver metal with concentrated nitric acid and evaporating the solution up to crystallization point followed by cooling.
$$\ce{3Ag + 4HNO3->[\Delta]3AgNO3 + NO ^ + 2H2O}$$

Physical properties:

  • It is a white crystalline solid.
  • It is soluble in water and alcohol.
  •  It’s melting point is 212oC.

Chemical properties:

1. Action with heat: When heated to red hot, silver nitrite decomposes to metallic silver.
$$\ce{2AgNO3->2Ag + 2NO2 + O2}$$

2. Action with Sodium hydroxide: Silver nitrate when reacted with NaOH forms a brown ppt of Ag2O.

$$\ce{AgNO3 + 2NaOH->$\underset{\text{Brown ppt.}}{\ce{Ag2O}}$ + 2NaNO3 + H2O}$$

 

3. Action with ammonia: Silver nitrate forms a complex called diammine silver(I) nitrate when reacted with ammonia.
$$\ce{2NH3 + AgNO3->$\underset{\text{Diammine silver nitrate}}{\ce{[Ag(NH3)2]NO3}}$}$$

4. Action with KCN: Silver nitrite upon reacting with potassium cyanide gives precipitate of AgCN. when reacted with excess of potassium cyanide, silver nitrite get dissolved to give potassium argentocyanide.
$$\ce{AgNO3 + KCN->$\underset{\text{Potassium Agrentocyanide}}{\ce{K[Ag(CN)2]}}$}$$

Uses:

  • It is used in silvering of mirror.
  • It is used for the preparation of permanent ink.
  • It is used as a laboratory reagent.
  • It is used as a dental antiseptic.

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