What is the equilibrium of concentrated nitric acid + sulfuric acid to form nitrobenzene obtained by nitrating benzene?

1 Answer
Dec 12, 2016

Answer:

Sulfuric and nitric acids form a nitrating mixture by protonation, and formation of the #NO_2^+# electrophile.

Explanation:

Sulfuric acid is a strong enuff acid to dehydrate nitric acid:

#HO-S(=O)_2OH + HO-N^(+)(=O)O^(-)#

#rightleftharpoonsHSO_4^(-) + H_2""^(+)O-N^(+)(=O)O^(-)#

#rightleftharpoons H_2O+""^(+)NO_2 + HSO_4^-#

The #"nitronium ion"#, #""^+NO_2#, in which the nitrogen is formally quaternized, is a potent electrophile, and can react with aryl species to give nitrated rings.