# What are balanced equation for HNO_3 reacting with water and HNO_2 reacting with water?

Apr 8, 2017

We examine the reaction:

$H X + {H}_{2} O r i g h t \le f t h a r p \infty n s {H}_{3} {O}^{+} + {X}^{-}$

#### Explanation:

For $\text{nitric acid}$, ${X}^{-} = N {O}_{3}^{-}$, for $\text{nitrous acid}$, ${X}^{-} = N {O}_{2}^{-}$.

The equilibrium LIES FARTHER to the right in the case of nitric acid (almost quantitativley so).

This site quotes a ${K}_{a}$ value for $H N {O}_{2}$ of $4 \times {10}^{-} 4$, which characterizes nitrous acid as a moderately weak acid.