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Sodium Nitrate
Sodium Nitrate

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Industrial Sodium Nitrate, mainly used in gunpowder,glass,ceramic glaze, firworks etc.

Sodium nitrate was used extensively as a fertilizer and a raw material for the manufacture of gunpowder in the late 19th century. It can be combined with iron hydroxide to make a resin.

Sodium nitrate should not be confused with the related compound, sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrate in the brine gives cooked corned beef its classic reddish color (without it corned beef comes out gray), and it kills botulism spores. Nitrate is actually changed to nitrite by bacterial action during processing and storage and nitrate itself has no effect on meat color.

It can be used in the production of nitric acid by combining it with sulfuric acid and subsequent separation through fractional distillation of the nitric acid, leaving behind a residue of sodium bisulfate. Hobbyist gold refiners use sodium nitrate to make a hybrid aqua regia that dissolves gold and other metals.

Less common applications include its use as a substitute oxidizer used in fireworks as a replacement for potassium nitrate commonly found in black powder and as a component in instant cold packs.

Sodium nitrate is used together with potassium nitrate for heat storage and, more recently, for heat transfer in solar power plants.

It is also used in the wastewater industry for facultative microorganism respiration. Nitrosomonas, a genus of microorganisms, consumes nitrate in preference to oxygen, enabling it to grow more rapidly in the wastewater to be treated.

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