Mercury(I) nitrate


Mercury(I) nitrate is an inorganic compound, a salt of mercury and nitric acid with the formula Hg2(NO3)2. A yellow solid, the compound is used as a precursor to other Hg22+ complexes. The structure of the hydrate has been determined by X-ray crystallography. It consists of a [H2O-Hg-Hg-OH2]2+ center, with a Hg-Hg distance of 254 pm.[2]

Mercury(I) nitrate[1]
IUPAC name
Mercury(I) nitrate
Other names
Mercurous nitrate
  • 10415-75-5 (anhydrous) checkY
  • 14836-60-3 (dihydrate) checkY
3D model (JSmol)
  • Interactive image
ECHA InfoCard 100.202.814 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 233-886-4
  • 25247
  • J78005WL7R (anhydrous) checkY
  • Z92K1EV5HQ (dihydrate) checkY
  • DTXSID30163975 Edit this at Wikidata
  • InChI=1S/Hg.NO3/c;2-1(3)4/q+1;-1
  • [N+](=O)([O-])[O-].[Hg+][Hg+].[N+](=O)([O-])[O-]
Hg2(NO3)2 (anhydrous)
Hg2(NO3)2·2H2O (dihydrate)
Molar mass 525.19 g/mol (anhydrous)
561.22 g/mol (dihydrate)
Appearance white monoclinic crystals (anhydrous)
colorless crystals (dihydrate)
Density ? g/cm3 (anhydrous)
4.8 g/cm3 (dihydrate)
Melting point ? (anhydrous)
decomposes at 70 °C (dihydrate)
slightly soluble, reacts
−27.95·10−6 cm3/mol
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Related compounds
Other anions
Mercury(I) fluoride
Mercury(I) chloride
Mercury(I) bromide
Mercury(I) iodide
Other cations
Mercury(II) nitrate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references



Mercury(I) nitrate is formed when elemental mercury is combined with dilute nitric acid (concentrated nitric acid will yield mercury(II) nitrate). Mercury(I) nitrate is a reducing agent which is oxidized upon contact with air.

Mercuric (II) nitrate reacts with elemental mercury (0) to form mercurous (I) nitrate (comproportionation reaction):[citation needed]

Hg(NO3)2 + Hg ⇌ Hg2(NO3)2

Solutions of mercury(I) nitrate are acidic due to slow reaction with water:

Hg2(NO3)2 + H2O ⇌ Hg2(NO3)(OH) + HNO3

Hg2(NO3)(OH) forms a yellow precipitate.

If the solution is boiled, or exposed to light, mercury(I) nitrate undergoes a disproportionation reaction yielding elemental mercury and mercury(II) nitrate:[3]

Hg2(NO3)2 ⇌ Hg + Hg(NO3)2

These reactions are reversible; the nitric acid formed can redissolve the basic salt.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Lide, David R. (1998), Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (87 ed.), Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, pp. 4–45, ISBN 0-8493-0594-2
  2. ^ D. Grdenić (1956). "The crystal Structure of Mercurous Nitrate Dihydrate". Journal of the Chemical Society: 1312–1316. doi:10.1039/jr9560001312.
  3. ^ Patnaik, Pradyot (2003), Handbook of Inorganic Chemical Compounds, McGraw-Hill Professional, p. 573, ISBN 0-07-049439-8, retrieved 2009-07-20