—nitration, n.n. /nuy"trayt, -trit/; v. /nuy"trayt/, n., v., nitrated, nitrating.n.1. Chem. a salt or ester of nitric acid, or any compound containing the univalent group -ONO2 or NO3.2. fertilizer consisting of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate.3. cellulose nitrate, a substance used as a film base in the early days of filmmaking.4. Informal. See nitrate film.v.t.5. to treat with nitric acid or a nitrate.6. to convert into a nitrate.[1785-95; NITR- + -ATE2]
* * *The salts are inorganic compounds with ionic bonds, containing the nitrate ion (NO3-) and any cation. Many, particularly ammonium nitrate, are used as agricultural fertilizers (see saltpeter). Their runoff in surface water and groundwater can cause serious illness in humans. The esters are organic compounds with covalent bonds, having the structure R―O―NO2, in which R represents an organic combining group such as methyl, ethyl, or phenyl.
* * *any member of either of two classes of compounds derived from nitric acid, HNO3. The salts of nitric acid are ionic compounds containing the nitrate ion, NO-3, and a positive ion, such as NH4+ in ammonium nitrate. Esters of nitric acid are covalent compounds having the structure R−O−NO2, in which R represents an organic combining group, such as ethyl (C2H5) in ethyl nitrate. See also nitro compound.
* * *