An unstable and weak acid, existing only in solution and in the gas phase, made by the action of acids on nitrites.
- Chemical formula: HNO2
- Secondary amines react with nitrous acid to give nitroso compounds, pale yellow oils that are insoluble in water.
- Some substances are capable of acting either as reductants or as oxidants, e.g., hydrogen peroxide and nitrous acid.
- Nitrite ions also present a more acute toxicity toward the photosynthetic apparatus especially in their acid form, nitrous acid, which can diffuse freely across membranes.
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