NILERED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NILERED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Preparation of mercury nitrate. Reaction between mercury and nitric acid, as the first stage in the preparation of mercury thiocyanate. This reaction produces nitrates of mercury, along with water and nitrogen dioxide. The mercury is seen moving around on the bottom of the flask in this footage. This stage is later followed by a reaction with potassium thiocyanate (not shown here) to produce the final product of mercury thiocyanate. Mercury thiocyanate is used for spectacular demonstrations of thermal decomposition and expansion, known as 'Pharaoh's serpent'.
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