Bismuth(III) nitrate

Bismuth(III) nitrate is a salt composed of bismuth in its cationic +3 oxidation state and nitrate anions. The most common solid form is the pentahydrate.[2] It is used in the synthesis of other bismuth compounds.[3] It is available commercially. It is the only nitrate salt formed by a group 15 element, indicative of bismuth's metallic nature.[4]

Bismuth(III) nitrate
Dusičnan bismutitý.JPG
Other names
Bismuth trinitrate, Bismuth(III) nitrate pentahydrate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.030.707
EC Number
  • anhydrous: 600-076-0
Molar mass 485.07 g/mol (pentahydrate)
Appearance colorless, white
Density 2.90 g/cm3 (pentahydrate)[1]
-91.0·10−6 cm3/mol
GHS pictograms GHS03: OxidizingGHS07: HarmfulGHS09: Environmental hazard
GHS Signal word Warning
H272, H315, H319, H335, H411
P210, P220, P221, P261, P264, P271, P273, P280, P302+352, P304+340, P305+351+338, P312, P321, P332+313, P337+313, P362, P370+378, P391, P403+233, P405, P501
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Preparation and reactionsEdit

Bismuth nitrate can be prepared by the reaction of bismuth metal and concentrated nitric acid.[5]

Bi + 4HNO3 → Bi(NO3)3 + 2H2O + NO

It dissolves in nitric acid but is readily hydrolysed to form a range of oxynitrates when the pH increases above 0.[6]

It is also soluble in acetone, acetic acid and glycerol but practically insoluble in ethanol and ethyl acetate.[7]

Some uses in organic synthesis have been reported for example the nitration of aromatic compounds and selective oxidation of sulfides to sulfoxides.[7] It is also used as to form Dragendorff reagent, which is used as a TLC stain.

Bismuth nitrate forms insoluble complexes with pyrogallol and cupferron and these have been the basis of gravimetric methods of determining bismuth content.[8]

On heating bismuth nitrate can decompose forming nitrogen dioxide, NO2.[9]


The crystal form is triclinic, and contains 10 coordinate Bi3+, (three bidentate nitrate ions and four water molecules).[1]


  1. ^ a b Lazarini, F. (15 August 1985). "Redetermination of the structure of bismuth(III) nitrate pentahydrate, Bi(NO3)3.5H2O". Acta Crystallographica Section C. 41 (8): 1144–1145. doi:10.1107/S0108270185006916.
  2. ^ "Normal Bismuth Nitrate, Bi(NO3)3".
  3. ^ Mary Eagleson. Concise encyclopedia chemistry. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-011451-8.
  4. ^ Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-08-037941-8.
  5. ^ Rich, Ronald (2007). Inorganic Reactions in Water (e-book). Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-73962-3.
  6. ^ Lazarini, F. (1981). "Thermal dehydration of some basic bismuth nitrates". Thermochimica Acta. 46 (1): 53–55. doi:10.1016/0040-6031(81)85076-9. ISSN 0040-6031.
  7. ^ a b Suzuki, Hitomi, ed. (2001). Organobismuth Chemistry. Elsevier. ISBN 0-444-20528-4.
  8. ^ A.I. Vogel,(1951), Quantitative Inorganic analysis, (2d edition), Longmans Green and Co
  9. ^ Krabbe, S.W.; Mohan, R.S. (2012). "Environmentally friendly organic synthesis using Bi(III) compounds". In Ollevier, Thierry (ed.). Topics in Current chemistry 311, Bismuth-Mediated Organic Reactions. Springer. pp. 100–110. ISBN 978-3-642-27239-4.