# What is the difference between the nitrite ion and the nitrate ion?

Dec 10, 2015

$N {O}_{2}^{-}$, nitrite, versus $N {O}_{3}^{-}$, nitrate.

#### Explanation:

For both ions the negative charge is delocalized. The oxidation state of nitrogen in nitrite ion is $+ I I I$; the oxidation state of nitrogen in nitrate is $+ V$.

Nitrate ion is in fact a potent oxidant, but this potential is often masked in aqueous solution.