Nitric acid is a strong oxidizing agent. It ionizes readily in solution, forming a good conductor of electricity. It reacts with metals, oxides, and hydroxides, forming nitrate salts.
Nitric acid is used in the production of ammonium nitrate for fertilizers, making plastics, and in the manufacture of dyes. It is also used for making explosives such as nitroglycerin and TNT. When it is combined with hydrochloric acid, an element called aqua regia is formed. This is a reagent that is capable of dissolving gold and platinum. Additionally, it is used in a colorimetric test to distinguish heroin and morphine.
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