Synthesis of Mercury Fulminate

Combine 3 mL of mercury and 30 mL of conc. nitric acid. Then add 50 mL of 95 % ethanol to a RBF, and add the nitric acid mixture, if the reaction doesn’t start, heat the RBF with hot water. After the reaction cools down add 60ml of water and filter. While filtering, wash with 50 mL of water, do not let the fulminate dry as it can explode, store under water.

3 Hg + 8 HNO3 = 3 Hg(NO3)2 + 2 NO + 4 H2O

Hg(NO3)+ EtOH = Hg(CNO)2


All of the mercury has reacted with the nitric acid


The reagents were combined and heated with hot water bath to kick off the reaction


The mixture, mercury fulminate is insoluble in solvents.

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