White fuming nitric acid
White fuming nitric acid (WFNA) is a storable liquid oxidizer used with kerosene and hydrazine rocket fuel. It consists of nearly pure nitric acid
Nitric acid
Nitric acid , also known as aqua fortis and spirit of nitre, is a highly corrosive and toxic strong acid.Colorless when pure, older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to the accumulation of oxides of nitrogen. If the solution contains more than 86% nitric acid, it is referred to as fuming...

 (3). WFNA is commonly specified as containing no more than 2% water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 and less than 0.5% dissolved
In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of only one phase. In such a mixture, a solute is dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent. The solvent does the dissolving.- Types of solutions :...

 nitrogen dioxide
Nitrogen dioxide
Nitrogen dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula it is one of several nitrogen oxides. is an intermediate in the industrial synthesis of nitric acid, millions of tons of which are produced each year. This reddish-brown toxic gas has a characteristic sharp, biting odor and is a prominent...

 or dinitrogen tetroxide
Dinitrogen tetroxide
Dinitrogen tetroxide is the chemical compound N2O4. It is a useful reagent in chemical synthesis. It forms an equilibrium mixture with nitrogen dioxide; some call this mixture dinitrogen tetroxide, while some call it nitrogen dioxide.Dinitrogen tetroxide is a powerful oxidizer, making it highly...


WFNA was sometimes used with an inhibitor compound to reduce corrosiveness, often hydrogen fluoride
Hydrogen fluoride
Hydrogen fluoride is a chemical compound with the formula HF. This colorless gas is the principal industrial source of fluorine, often in the aqueous form as hydrofluoric acid, and thus is the precursor to many important compounds including pharmaceuticals and polymers . HF is widely used in the...

. Without inhibitors, WFNA will corrode nearly all structural metals. Inhibited WFNA is often called IWFNA. The hydrogen fluoride addition causes formation of protective layer of fluoride on the metal surfaces.

WFNA as an oxidizer has somewhat less performance than red fuming nitric acid
Red fuming nitric acid
Red fuming nitric acid is a storable oxidizer used as a rocket propellant. It consists mainly of nitric acid , also containing 13% dinitrogen tetroxide and 3% water. The dissolved nitrogen dioxide is very concentrated and can be found at room temperature...

 but is considerably safer (though extremely corrosive
A corrosive substance is one that will destroy or irreversibly damage another surface or substance with which it comes into contact. The main hazards to people include damage to the eyes, the skin, and the tissue under the skin; inhalation or ingestion of a corrosive substance can damage the...

), as it has little to no dissolved nitrogen tetroxide, which is an extremely toxic and volatile chemical. If not inhibited, it will form nitrogen tetroxide on contact with most metals and some organic materials.

WFNA and IWFNA are considered hypergolic with a long list of other propellants, including:
  • UDMH
    Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine is a toxic volatile hygroscopic clear liquid, with a sharp, fishy, ammoniacal smell typical for organic amines. It turns yellowish on exposure to air and absorbs oxygen and carbon dioxide. It mixes completely with water, ethanol, and kerosene. In concentration...

  • Hydrazine
    Hydrazine is an inorganic compound with the formula N2H4. It is a colourless flammable liquid with an ammonia-like odor. Hydrazine is highly toxic and dangerously unstable unless handled in solution. Approximately 260,000 tons are manufactured annually...

  • Furfuryl alcohol
    Furfuryl alcohol
    Furfuryl alcohol, also called 2-furylmethanol or 2-furancarbinol, is an organic compound containing a furan substituted with a hydroxymethyl group. It is a clear colorless liquid when pure, but becomes amber colored upon prolonged standing. It possesses a faint burning odor and a bitter taste. ...

  • Gasoline
    Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

  • Aniline
    Aniline, phenylamine or aminobenzene is an organic compound with the formula C6H5NH2. Consisting of a phenyl group attached to an amino group, aniline is the prototypical aromatic amine. Being a precursor to many industrial chemicals, its main use is in the manufacture of precursors to polyurethane...

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