Mg + 2 HNO3 → Mg(NO3)2 + H2 – Balanced equation

Or you want a quick look:

This is an oxidation-reduction (redox) reaction:

2 HI + 2 e- 2 H (reduction)

Mg - 2 e- MgII (oxidation)

HNO3 is an oxidizing agent, Mg is a reducing agent.

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  • Mg
    • Names: Magnesium , Magnesium (powder) , Magnesium (pellets)
    • Appearance: Grey powder ; Silvery-white metallic solid in various forms
  • HNO3Nitric acid
    • Other names: Aqua fortis , Spirit of niter , Eau forte
    • Appearance: Colorless, yellow or red fuming liquid ; Colourless-to-yellow liquid with pungent odour ; Colorless, yellow, or red, fuming liquid with an acrid, suffocating odor. [Note: Often used in an aqueous solution. Fuming nitric acid is concentrated nitric acid that contains dissolved nitrogen dioxide.]


  • Mg(NO3)2Magnesium nitrate
    • Other names: Nitromagnesite (hexahydrate) , Nitric acid, magnesium salt
    • Appearance: White crystalline solid ; Hygroscopic colourless or white crystals
  • H2
    • Names: Dihydrogen , Hydrogen , H2
    • Appearance: Odourless colourless compressed gas
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