Nitric acid is a strong acid and a powerful oxidizing agent that is a highly corrosive liquid. Nitric acid is the main reagent for nitration, which is the addition of a nitro group, to organic molecules, metals, and other chemicals. Nitric acid is used as a raw material and intermediate int he production of nitrates, including Ammonium Nitrate, Nitrobenzene, Toluene di-isocyanate, and Adipic acid. It reacts with metals, oxides, and hydroxides, producing nitrate salts.
Nitric acid is used in the nitration of toluene and glycerol to produce explosives nitroglycerin and trinitrotoluene (TNT), preparation of nitrocellulose, and oxidation of metals. It is used in the manufacturing of fertilizers and explosives. Nitric acid also has applications in chemical processing of dyes, in metallurgy, etching of steel, and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.