Bismuth(III) nitrate 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]

Preparation and reactions

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 0-08-037941-9. 
  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. Topics in Current chemistry 311, Bismuth-Mediated Organic Reactions. Springer. pp. 100–110. ISBN 978-3-642-27239-4. 
Salts and covalent derivatives of the Nitrate ion
LiNO3 Be(NO3)2 B(NO3)4 C N O FNO3 Ne
NaNO3 Mg(NO3)2 Al(NO3)3 Si P S ClONO2 Ar
KNO3 Ca(NO3)2 Sc(NO3)3 Ti(NO3)4 VO(NO3)3 Cr(NO3)3 Mn(NO3)2 Fe(NO3)3,
Ni(NO3)2 Cu(NO3)2 Zn(NO3)2 Ga(NO3)3 Ge As Se Br Kr
RbNO3 Sr(NO3)2 Y Zr(NO3)4 Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd(NO3)2 AgNO3 Cd(NO3)2 In Sn Sb(NO3)3 Te I Xe(NO3)2
CsNO3 Ba(NO3)2   Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg2(NO3)2,
Pb(NO3)2 Bi(NO3)3
Po At Rn
FrNO3 Ra(NO3)2   Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Nh Fl Mc Lv Ts Og
La(NO3)3 Ce(NO3)3,
Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu(NO3)3 Gd(NO3)3 Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu
Ac(NO3)3 Th(NO3)4 Pa UO2(NO3)2 Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr