Does Nitric Acid "really" dissolve gold

D

Dave

New Member
#1
Hey Guys

Whats everyone's thoughts on this.....

Au dissolving in nitric acid????

I have read mixed literature on this but I have not experienced any evidence that it actually does.

What I believe to be true is as follows

Au does dissolve in conc nitric (an undetectible amount) and forms Au3+ ions (i.e. the start of the aqua regia process) but unless HCl is actually added to the nitric acid the gold is effectively undissolved and remains exactly the same weight as what you started with.

Can anyone confirm this for me please?

Thanks
 
fireguy

fireguy

Supermoderator
#2
Hey Guys

Whats everyone's thoughts on this.....

Au dissolving in nitric acid????

I have read mixed literature on this but I have not experienced any evidence that it actually does.

What I believe to be true is as follows

Au does dissolve in conc nitric (an undetectible amount) and forms Au3+ ions (i.e. the start of the aqua regia process) but unless HCl is actually added to the nitric acid the gold is effectively undissolved and remains exactly the same weight as what you started with.

Can anyone confirm this for me please?

Thanks
Well, if it is an undetectable amount, how would you ever know? You could run an ICP-MS on the nitric solution which would be a pretty sensitive analysis. I have never seen evidence of this so I would tend to discount it. If you are using tap water, or there was chlorine in the water you are making up your nitric solution with, that may form a very weak aqua regia which may cause slight gold dissolution- but that would be dissolution in aqua regia, not straight nitric.
 
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