Both nitrite and nitrogen dioxide has the same number of nitrogen and oxygen atoms; one nitrogen atom and two oxygen atoms. Even the structure of the compound is similar. But, they are different from each other according to the electrical charge that they bear upon them. Let us discuss more details about them.
What is Nitrite?
Nitrite is an anion having the chemical formula NO–2. This compound has two covalent chemical bonds with equal bond lengths. Moreover, this anion is a symmetric ion. Therefore, it can undergo either oxidation or reduction. As a result, it can act as both a reducing agent and an oxidizing agent.
The molar mass of this anion is 46.01 g/mol. Upon protonation, this anion forms nitrous acid which is an unstable weak acid. This anion can also form salts and coordination complexes. Moreover, there are organic nitrites that consist of esters of nitrous acid.
What is Nitrogen Dioxide?
Nitrogen dioxide is an inorganic compound having the chemical formula NO2. Moreover, it is a neutral compound with a zero electrical charge. The molar mass of this compound is 46.05 g/mol. It occurs as a gas that appears in an orange color. However, it has a pungent odor like in chlorine gas.
Moreover, this compound is paramagnetic. The bond lengths between nitrogen atom and oxygen atoms are equal; the bond length of each bond is 119.7 pm. It is a strong oxidizing agent. It can undergo a reduction as well.
What is the Difference Between Nitrite and Nitrogen Dioxide?
Nitrite is an anion having the chemical formula NO–2. It is an anion. The molar mass of this anion is 46.01 g/mol. The nitrogen atom of this anion has +3 oxidation state. It can form salts, cordination complexes or occurs in minerals. On the other hand, nitrogen dioxide is an inorganic compound having the chemical formula NO2, and it is a neutral compound having a zero electrical charge. The molar mass of this compound is 46.05 g/mol. It occurs as a gas with an orange color appearance. Moreover, the nitrogen atom of this molecule has +4 oxidation state. These are the key differences between nitrite and nitrogen dioxide.
Summary – Nitrite vs Nitrogen Dioxide
Both nitrite and nitrogen dioxide has the same molecular formula but they have many differences as stated above. The key difference between nitrite and nitrogen dioxide is that the nitrite is an anion whereas the nitrogen dioxide is a molecule.