Fuming Aqua Fortis is the chemical name given to Fuming HNO3, Fuming HNO3, Fuming Spirit of Nitre where the concentration exceeds 86%.  The material releases red or white fumes depending on he amount of Nitrogen Dioxide present in the material.  It can either be Red Fuming Aqua Fortis where a minimum of 10% Nitrogen Dioxide is present, or White Fuming Aqua Fortis where 0.5% Nitrogen Dixoide is present together with no more than 2% water.

classified as highly Corrosive and Toxic

Fuming Aqua Fortis is classified as highly Corrosive and Toxic and great care must be taken when handling or working with this material.  It has potential to cause serious, life-threatening injuries and can even be fatal.  Further information about the potential hazards of Fuming Aqua Fortis can be found on the Hazards page of this website.  Full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must always be worn when handling Fuming Aqua Fortis and full details of the safety measure to be taken are included on the Safety web page.

Strict legislation governs the packing, labelling and transport of Fuming Aqua Fortis.   All requirements concerning the labelling of Fuming HNO3 are covered by the CHIP Regulations 2009 ('The Chemicals Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) which govern all labelling requiurements for dangerous substances and preparations. 

The legislation is due to change from 1 December 2010 and new regulations will come into place at that time.  These new reulgations will be in accordance with GHS (Globally Harmonised System) and CLP Regulations EC Number 1212/2008.  Full information on these changes are covered on the Labelling and Packaging pages of this website.

Fuming Aqua Fortis is one of the most widely used mineral acids and has important applications both in industry and in the laboratory.  The fertilizer industry is one of the largest users of Fuming Aqua Fortis, which is also widely used in the production of TNT and Nitroglyerine explosives.

In the laboratory, Fuming Nitric Acid can be used to etch and clean glassware such as NMR tubes as it does not leave any ionic residue unlike the alternative cleaning material, Chromic Acid.  The Acid is also used to dissolve metals for chemical analysis.  Aqua Fortis can also be used to detect the presence of Chloride in the Soda Ash industry.  Flame Atomic Absorption Spetrometry and ICPMS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry use Aqua Fortis to dissolve metals into solution before analysis.