JAN 16, 2018 12:00 PM PST

Royal Water - Acid That Dissolves Gold

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Royal water, or better known for its Latin name Aqua regia, is a fuming, corrosive liquid solution first invented by an Arab alchemist back in the 8th century. 

It is a mixture of one part of nitric acid and three part of hydrochloric acid. The name comes from its yellow-orange hue and its ability to dissolve noble metals like gold and platinum, though not all metals.

These days, royal water is primarily used to produce chloroauric acid, the electrolyte used in the gold-refining chemical process.

During World War II, Hungarian chemist George de Hevesy famously dissolved two gold Nobel medals, which belong to German physicists Max von Laue and James Franck, in royal water to evade the confiscation by German Nazis.

Source: ACSReaction via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
OCT 03, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
How to Evaluate a Chemistry Tutor for Your Child
OCT 03, 2021
How to Evaluate a Chemistry Tutor for Your Child
Whether you’re an adult, teenager, or child the process of learning never stops and continually becomes more inter ...
OCT 09, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
The Anti-Cancer, Copper-Binding Compounds Found in Fish
OCT 09, 2021
The Anti-Cancer, Copper-Binding Compounds Found in Fish
In the world's waterways, fish are confronted with endless challenges. For example, they have to defend themselves from ...
OCT 18, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
New Climatic Data from China Sheds Light on the Emergence of the Dinosaurs
OCT 18, 2021
New Climatic Data from China Sheds Light on the Emergence of the Dinosaurs
The climate is hot and muggy with the world's oceans as hot as a sauna. Also, it just started raining and it will not st ...
DEC 01, 2021
Space & Astronomy
The Two Closest Supermassive Black Holes
DEC 01, 2021
The Two Closest Supermassive Black Holes
A team of international researchers have observed the center of galaxy NGC 7727 and found two supermassive black holes ( ...
DEC 16, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Ice Shelf Holding Back Glacier Predicted to Melt Within Years
DEC 16, 2021
Ice Shelf Holding Back Glacier Predicted to Melt Within Years
The ice shelf holding back a glacier the size of Florida could melt within five years, experts with the American Geophys ...
DEC 28, 2021
Space & Astronomy
You Can Follow NASA's Webb Telescope On Its Journey Through Space
DEC 28, 2021
You Can Follow NASA's Webb Telescope On Its Journey Through Space
After a long series of delays and pushbacks, the James Webb Space Telescope successfully launched into space this past C ...
Loading Comments...