Make Silver Nitrate From Silver and Nitric Acid

Make Silver Nitrate From Silver and Nitric Acid

Greetings fellow nerds. In this video we’re going to make silver nitrate, a useful chemical in some of our videos. First we need silver, so we’ll be using this pure silver bar. To better control what we’re doing, we’re going to wrap the bar in aluminum wire. Aluminum is resistant to the corrosive effects of concentrated nitric acid. Now we dip the silver into concentrated nitric acid. But since it’s cold, the reaction is proceeding very slowly. We’ve time-lapsed this video over an hour to show you just how slow it is. So let’s change our reaction conditions and use hot nitric acid. Here we have the nitric acid on a heater and it’s slowly warming up. Once we dip in the silver bar we can see it dissolving into the acid. As it does so it generates bubbles of nitrogen monoxide gas. As it heats up, the reaction proceeds faster and faster. The orange haze you see above the acid is nitrogen dioxide, which forms because the nitrogen monoxide reacts with oxygen in the air. This gas is highly toxic so you must perform this reaction outside or in a fumehood. Do not do this reaction indoors. Needless to say the acid itself is also very dangerous so wear gloves when working with it. The aluminum wire is doing a very good job of resisting the acid. This is because aluminum creates a layer of aluminum oxide when exposed to concentrated nitric acid. The oxide layer resists further attack by the acid. Now our silver is almost completely gone. And our aluminum wire seems to have withstood the acid. Now we have a solution of nitric acid and silver nitrate. Turn off the heat and let the solution cool. The yellowish color is from dissolved nitrogen dioxide gas that will eventually dissipate. When the solution cools down, crystals of silver nitrate will appear. Leave the solution out to completely evaporate. This might take several days. Eventually you’ll have these dry crystals of silver nitrate. You can crush them into a powder for easier handling. Silver nitrate stains the skin so wear gloves when working with it. We’ll be using silver nitrate in some very interesting experiments including photography, making mirrors and even flash powder. So subcribe to our channel to stay informed. Thanks for watching another NurdRage science video please rate and comment too!


  1. I've used Nitric Acid and Silver Nitrate to do a Chloride precipitate test for Urine in my Biology lab. Some moron managed to drip a drop on Nitric Acid on worksheet, so he had to get a new one. 😛

  2. Hi i am interested to know watt SSD solution stands for and the diferent uses of it, as well castrox oxide watt are the uses and watt are the chemicals that is used to make them.
    My friend John is involved in this type of chemistry and he is saying that these products can not be done at home as it involves diferent type of chemicals that we can not get.
    regards Ramos

  3. Hey there, i've been watching your videos for a while now and i've got to say that i have learned a lot from you. I Would like to ask you a quetion since you might be able help me around this. I'm trying to decompose Hydrogen Peroxide (fuel purposes), i since it's hard to find silver screens at least here at my location, i was thinking if this method would be possible:
    (please read my second post since utube won't let me add more characters)

  4. – get silver
    – synthesize a few mg of silver nitrate
    – get a copper screen (sold in a lot of shops here)
    – electroplate copper screen with silver

    Do you think this is 'doable'? I'm afraid that the silver coating might not be enought but since it's all about surface area it came to my thought that it might be possible..!


  5. Hi NurdRage, what would be the result of using sterling silver at 92.5% purity rather than pure 99.9% silver to make silver nitrate? I am interested in making some for photographic printing purposes and mirror silvering purposes but the price of silver nitrate in Japan is outrageous, around double the price in the US.

  6. what's the effect of copper nitrate on something like a silvered glass surface or in use as a photographic material? green tinge?

  7. Tried Dissolving Silver in Nitric Acid without heating it. Saw poofy white cloud and attempted to recrystalize white product. would not dissolve in water. any suggestions?

  8. Awesome video,

    Sir, i purchased 25 gram silver coin. So, how much ml concentrated nitric acid do i need to completely dissolve 25 gram of silver coin. And also i would like to know how much gram of silver nitrate will form??

    Please please reply soon, i need your help.

  9. Simple, get a amount of TNT and put it into a dynamite. C4 means 4 C type dynamites. Get 4 of them and you create C4! Just be sure to make a fuse and make a box where it could be safely stored.

  10. I have a question
    when you put silver in nitric acid first it will generate bubbles of nitrogen monoxide
    it will react with air to make nitrogen dioxide
    so can you put a balloon on top of it?
    to prevent nitrogen monoxide from reacting with oxygen

  11. Just wondering, but, as AgNO3 can be used to test for Halide Ions, could a different, and cheaper nitrate salt be used? thanks! :3

  12. I have used nitric acid and water to dissolve some silver and then used copper to make it precipitate it back out so hopefully the silver is now fairly pure. I want to now take it back to silver nitrate – I just thought I would check before proceeding as due to the silver being incredibly fine powder at the moment, would I need to heat the acid as presumably the surface area of the silver is now huge. Would appreciate your thoughts please.

  13. Is there a method to create silver nitrate from sterling silver pieces? I have scrap sterling silver and was hoping to create a one-way mirror.

  14. so, I was wondering if somehow you be able to get the NO2 gas pass through water(like bubbling it) to get nitric acid, would it works? I mean, can some nitric acid(even if is not 100% effective) be recuperated?

  15. What is the concentration of Nitric acid?  Also can you reuse it? What is the approx. concentration after the reaction is finished?

  16. Dear NR  ,  
    without aluminium wire i did same process but my 2gm silver make 1gm silver nitrate i hot nitric acid twice but i test the silver nitrate in distilled water it did not react as silver nitrate make the distilled water in milky color. what i do for this any lead nitrate use in this method how i increase the weight of silver nitrate with quality. Thanks 

  17. I'm sad to report that this kind of home chemistry is about to die in the UK. It's now illegal to buy nitric acid over 3% without a license and in about a years time it will be illegal to own nitric acid over 3% without a license. The licenses require you have a good reason for it's use.

    Sad times that once again show the ignorance of government. It's not exactly hard to make this stuff.

  18. Im a little concerned about doing this in my home made fume hood.  The gasses look dence and heavy. perhaps too heavy for my exhaust system.

  19. hi, does anyone know how to clean silver nitrate of nitric acid. i just dissolved some silver for use in wet plate photography but it is not working , and i fear it may be that the nitrate may need cleaning or preparing in some way. anyone? 

  20. Did you know that Fluorantomonic acid is the strongest acid in the world it is 10,000,000'000,000,000 times stronger than sulfuric acid have you ever handled it?

    Ps.(go to Sci show for more detail )

  21. Can't you "recycle" the NO2 to make HNO3 by bubbling it in water?Or it's released too fast and in too large quantities to be trapped and directed into water without getting pressure problems with the apparatus?

  22. How much is the concentration of nitric acid Is this experience is a high concentration or proportion of any possible experience to succeed thank you Great video.

  23. hi
    anyone know how to reactivate my gold plating solution, i left it for years now it won't work with my electroplater, i guess the gold is still in there, but it's just a messy crud at the bottom

  24. is it dangerous to mix silver nitrate and sodium hydroxide and ammonia @ 0.0880% together then put it in a bottle and seal it ?thank you

  25. Hi NurdRage. Thank you so much for this video and knowledge. I have a question for you. I understand the effect of Nitric Acid not attacking the Aluminum, especially when cooler acid is used, and I understand the idea of this particular video is to dissolve the silver to make your nitrate. Here is my question. Using this same method presented in this video, is there a solution you can add that would prevent the Silver from dissolving at all, or at least to slow the dissolving process to a bare minimal once placed in the Nitric Acid?

  26. If I use 80% pure silver (the kind of silver you find in forks and
    spoons) instead of 100% pure silver will I obtain good silver nitrate as
    well? What about the metals in the other 20%? Will they react with
    nitric acid or just precipitate out?

  27. yikes! stirring would be a good idea, also just add the silver to the empty beaker and then decant in the nitric acid, then heat. no Al wire needed. nice ika plate!

  28. so hydrogen acts like a metal and a single replacement reaction happens and forming AgNO3(s) and H2(g) ?

    Ag + HNO3 ——–> AgNO3 + H2

  29. Im going to be doing this outside. what respirator and respirator cartages should I be using when working with nitric acid and where is the best place to store the acid after i open it?

  30. Thank you for all your vids! cant stop watching! Ag nitrate solution wasn't evaporating after 10 days, so maintained on and off candle heat to help outdoors and shielded from natural light with aluminium foil. Solution has finally evaporated, however i am left with Ag nitrate that is somewhat yellow, and the nitric acid smell is still quite strong. Are these results ok for silvering? Should i redissolve and reevaporate? Thank you again!

  31. Use gloves when handling nitric acid? You're better off not wearing them. If nitic acid get on your skin, rinse immediately, but if it contacts nitril or latex, it'll catch fire.

  32. I have tons of waste from making the silver mirror. I have some in liquid form and some I let the brown sediments settle and dried it out ( looks like dirt) what for of silver is this? And any idea how to get it back to solid silver metal ?

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