Nitrogen forms lot of oxides. Some of them are neutral, and some are acidic. Also nitrogen forms basic compounds such as ammonia. In this tutorial, we are going to learn why nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen oxide (NO) are neutral.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen oxide (nitric oxide / NO) are neutral gases of oxides of nitrogen. These two nitrogen oxides do not react with water to form oxoacids such as HNO2 or HNO3.
Now we have to disucuss, why some of these oxides are neutral?
Neutral oxides do not form acids or bases in aqueous solutions. Oxoacids of nitrogen are HNO2 or HNO3 acids.
Oxidation number of nitrogen in nitrous oxide and nitrogen oxide are less than other oxides of nitrogen.
Nitrogen forms so many oxides and they have very different characteristics. Those oxides are noted below.
When oxidation number of nitrogen in respective oxides increases, acidic properties are increased too.
Oxides which have +3 or higher oxidation number of nitrogen will show acidic property and react with water to form oxoacid such as nitrous HNO2 and nitric acids HNO3.
nitrous acid HNO2
nitric acid HNO3
Therefore N2O3, NO2, N2O4, N2O5 are acidic gases.
To give a acidic solution the compound should have an ability to release hydronium ion. For that, water should be hydrolyzed and should form hydronium ion. But polarization of atoms of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide is not enough to hydrolyze water. So they are neutral oxides.
Yes, as previously described, N2O is a neutral gas. No any acid is formed when N2O is sent to the water.
Yes. When oxidation number increases, acidic characteristic increases. As an example, we can compare nitrous acid (HNO2) and nitric acid (HNO3). Oxidation number of nitrogen in nitrous acid is +3. Oxidation number of nitrogen in nitric acid is +5. Nitric acid is a strong acid and nitrous acid is a weak acid.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a neutral oxide. N2O and NO are neutral oxides of nitrogen.