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EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY > NITROGEN COMPOUNDS > NITRIC ACID

Definition:
Nitric Acid (HNO3) is a corrosive, non-volatile, inorganic acid. It is
formed by the conversion of nitrogen oxide into nitrogen dioxide, and then
into nitric acid, which is highly water soluble. This solubility allows
easy removal of nitric acid from the troposphere into rain - commonly
referred to as acid rain. Nitric acid has a relatively low concentration
in the atmosphere but provides an important role in the production of
sulfuric acid by acting as a catalyst in the conversion of sulfur dioxide
to sulfuric acid. [T.E Graedel and Paul J. Crutzen. Atmospheric Change:
An Earth System Perspective. WH Freeman and Co, NY.1993.]


Reference:
Atmospheric and Air Chemistry Glossary from the Sam Houston State University.
http://www.shsu.edu/~chemistry/Glossary/glos.html