This salt may be used for the separation of cobalt and nickel, since the latter metal does not form a similar double nitrite, but it is necessary that the alkaline earth metals should be absent, for in their presence nickel forms complex nitrites containing the alkaline earth metal and the alkali metal.
Torray's observations on nitromalonic aldehyde, N02 CH(CHO)2,formed by acting on mucobromic acid, probably CHO CBr:CBr:000H, with alkaline nitrites; this substance condenses with acetone to give p-nitrophenol, and forms [I.3.5]-trinitrobenzene when its sodium salt is decomposed with an acid.
It converts many metallic oxides into mixtures of nitrates and nitrites, and attacks many metals, forming nitrates and being itself reduced to nitric oxide.
- These are the materials which are utilized by the vegetable plankton in the synthesis of living material: they are water, carbonic acid, nitrates and nitrites of calcium, magnesium and other earthy and alkaline metals, phosphates, silica, traces of salts containing iron, sulphur, potassium and a few other elements.
The source of the carbon of organic tissues is carbonic acid; that of the nitrogen in the proteids is the nitrates, nitrites and salts of ammonia dissolved in sea-water; the material of the shells or other skeletons is the silica, phosphate and calcium of the salts of sea-water (and, in rare cases, the salts of strontium).