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Nitrite (NO-2) – Structure, Properties, Molecular Weight & Uses

Nitrogen, abbreviated as N, is a chemical element with the atomic number 7. It is a nonmetal member of the periodic table’s 15th group. The human body comprises 3% nitrogen by mass. It is the largest amount of any element present in the earth’s atmosphere (78%). Nitrogen is a colourless, odourless gas that is extremely crucial to the chemical process industries. The principal applications of nitrogen include the production of fertilizers, dyes, nitric acid, nylon, and explosives. Oxygen, abbreviated as O, is a chemical element with the atomic number 8. It is a member of the periodic table’s 16th, second, and chalcogen groups. Oxygen can be termed as an extremely reactive nonmetal. It is the most prevalent element on earth and is present in various organic molecules, including rocks, mineral deposits, and water. It is a diatomic gas that makes up 21% of the atmosphere and is colourless, tasteless, and odourless. It is widely utilized in industry and necessary for practically all combustion and aerobic respiration.
In detail, let’s discover more about nitrite formula ion, a molecule made of nitrogen and oxygen.

Nitrite is an inorganic ion with a negative charge. It has two oxygen atoms and one nitrogen atom. Because of its negative charge, it is also known as a nitrite ion or nitrite anion and is exceedingly unstable. It has a symmetrical structure and appears crystalline or colourless. It is common to use nitrite formula to bond with metal in various ways. It is a part of many salts, including sodium and potassium nitrate. The typical nitrite concentration in drinking water is less than 0.1 mg/l. Nitrites are primarily found in vegetables and cured meat, while they can also be found in minor amounts in fish and milk products.

Nitrites and Nitrates: What are they?
1.Nitrate (NO3)
Nitrate is a chemical compound obtained by combining nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrate concentrations are often high in drinking water. Nitrate has no flavor, no aroma, and no colour. Since nitrate occurs naturally in low concentrations and is extremely soluble in water, soil can easily transfer it to groundwater.
2.Nitrite (NO2)
Nitrite is a chemical compound obtained from salt or an ester of nitrous acid. Although it is typically undetectable or detectable in groundwater to a much lesser extent since it is easily converted to nitrate, nitrite (NO2)is a comparable pollutant with similar qualities to nitrate that is connected with and the forms of nitrate. Now, let’s compare their differences to comprehend the two compounds’ relationship fully. The presence of oxygen in the two compounds makes a difference. Nitrite consists of two oxygen atoms, having the chemical formula NO2, while nitrate consists of three oxygen atoms, having the chemical formula NO3-.

Nitrite vs Nitrate
Nitrates and nitrites are somewhat related to one another. They are close to one another. The other is merely the other transformed by specific salivary glands and germs. According to studies, both are equally harmful to health. Experts conducted a test to check the number of nitrates present in vegetables and meat. The test revealed that vegetables contain more nitrates than processed meat. On the positive side, utilizing antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin C during the treatment or preservation process can control the formation of nitrosamines. When nitrates are subjected to intense heat, nitrosamine is produced, which is one of the reasons for diseases. The packaged foods we adore eating are harmful and unhealthy because they are high in nitrates. Though, nitrate is less harmful than nitrite formula and is therefore used as a food source by living plants. Nitrates are also included in agricultural fertilizers. The nitrates were transformed into fertilizer friendly sodium, ammonium, potassium, and calcium salts. High fertilizations can also result in eutrophication. According to the definition, eutrophication enhances the ecosystem using chemical nutrients, including fertilizers. Eutrophication can produce algae, which can cover water sources, cause scarcity, and alter the ecology. Even though it aids in food preservation, providing us with these delicious items and serving as fertilizer for plants, it is nevertheless hazardous to human health. As per studies, this disease-causing substance is a powerful carcinogen. This carcinogen is not only present in food but as well as in water.