Innovative Chemical Supply

When it comes to your supply chain, efficiently managing your inventory has an outsized impact on your entire operation. The chemical logistics sector is being impacted by the same trends affecting most logistics functions such as safety, tight capacity, and a growing focus on sustainability.

Companies such as Brainerd Chemical are at the forefront of innovative solutions that help mitigate these concerns to help ensure safe, reliable supply chain management for their customers.

“Our customers needed a more flexible concentrated nitric acid delivery option and our team answered the call. We are proud to be the only company in North America drumming and delivering concentrated nitric acid on common carriers along with other freight. Nobody else does that for their customers.”

Neil Morgan, COO of Brainerd Chemical company

Morgan is referring to DOT-SP 14635, a unique U.S. Department of Transportation special permit exclusively granted to Brainerd Chemical Company, which authorizes the transportation in commerce of Nitric acid, other than red fuming, with more than 70 percent nitric acid in alternative packaging when transported by motor vehicle.

Many industrial customers are moving toward smaller, more frequent orders, minimizing their need to store large quantities of chemicals reducing inventory space and capital spent on raw materials.

This is just one example of how leading chemical packaging companies provide innovative solutions that can have a major impact on customers’ process efficiency. Brainerd Chemical’s ability to drum concentrated nitric acid is a prime example.

“Our ability to ship concentrated nitric acid on common carriers in 30-gallon drums was a game changer for many of our customers.”

Chad Height, corporate sale supervisor at Brainerd Chemical Company

Brainerd customers are able to improve operational efficiency, reduce holding costs, and potential safety risks by ordering only what they need, when they need it.

Safer and More Agile Concentrated HNO3 Supply

Even as technology improves chemical transportation safety and supply chain responsiveness, personal relationships still matter. Customers must be able to count on safe, reliable delivery. And, in the timeframe and volumes that allow them to maximize operational efficiency.

 “That one-to-one connection with the customer is very important.”

Eric Byer, the president and CEO of the Alliance for Chemical Distribution (ACD)

Personnel connections allow customers to evaluate safety procedures adherence more consistently and effectively.

The Brainerd Chemical team proved the point when they moved forward with drumming concentrated nitric acid. Customers were limited to carrying the cost and safety concerns associated with bulk orders and storage. Brainerd employees identified a problem most of their customers hadn’t recognized and the executive team found an innovative way to make the solution possible. The result was a unique and proprietary package design that allows concentrated nitric acid to be drummed in 30-gallon (113.5 L) quantities. And it can be shipped on common carriers along with traditional freight to reduce supply chain bottlenecks by facilitating more shipping options.

This innovative 30-gallon (113.5 L) drum design consists of composite packaging with inner plastic receptacle within a protective steel drum inside a removable head steel drum overpack. The inner receptacle is made of rotationally molded Teflon. It sits inside a 304 stainless steel removable head drum with 304 stainless steel cover which is secured by a steel bolt and nut locking ring. The packaging has two buttress threaded openings that are sealed with a Teflon plug and a Teflon drum insert connected to a polyethylene and Teflon cap.

Reliable safety is a prime concern. Composite packaging is tested at the Packing Group I performance level which includes hydrostatic pressure testing in to not less than 200 kPa (29 psi). Operational controls are strictly maintained ensuring that composite packaging is always closed according to the manufacturers’ instructions and that screw closures must be physically held in place to prevent back-off or loosening by impact or vibration during transportation. Additionally, inner and outer packaging is separated by a shock-mitigating, non-reactive material.

Comprehensive Nitric Acid Source

As one of the largest distributors of nitric acid in North America, Brainerd Chemical supplies the high-hazard chemical goods and services that no one else wants to. This includes concentrated nitric acid and dilute nitric acid blends in concentrations up to 98+%.  Nitric acid products are supplied in bulk, totes, or drums.

The Brainerd team specializes in developing custom nitric acid formulations to fulfill specific packaging, dilution, or chemical blending requirements. And, Brainerd’s investment in cutting edge technology, training, equipment, and facilities never ends. This ensures safer work environments while simultaneously providing volume handling capabilities and exceptionally consistent quality through every batch.

Reliable Nitric Acid Procurement for Any Industry

As a leader in safe, reliable high-hazard chemical manufacturing and supply, the Brainerd team safely delivers large volumes of chemical products via company-owned trucks and our robust carrier network.

Reliable delivery through Brainerd’s hybrid distribution network ensures consistent nitric acid and nitric acid blend supply chain management. And Brainerd offers box truck or tanker delivery, third party and blind shipments, loading and unloading, as well as bulk storage solutions all while maintaining the highest quality standards for safety and environmental protection.

You can count on Brainerd’s rigorously trained delivery specialists to safely deliver the hazardous materials no one else wants to.

Brainerd Chemical Company provides the nitric acid that plays an integral role in various industrial applications. This highly reactive substance has a myriad of uses and the Brainerd team is proud to help our customers in a variety of industrial sectors.

Nitric Acid in Agricultural Production

Farmers and agronomists utilize nitric acid to enhance crop productivity and test soil health. It’s a multifaceted resource with wide applications.

Nitric acid serves as a key ingredient in the production of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer extensively utilized to enhance soil fertility and boost crop yield. Nitric acid’s role doesn’t stop with the creation of ammonium nitrate. It’s also used in the production of other nitrogenous fertilizers such as calcium nitrate and urea nitrate.

Nitric acid is also employed in the process of soil testing. It helps determine the presence and concentration of certain nutrients in the soil, which aids in making informed decisions about fertilizer application.

Metal Processing

Nitric acid and nitric acid blends are used in the treatment of metals like steel and brass to remove impurities, stains, and rust. Nitric acid is considered crucial for maintaining efficiency and quality in the metal industry.

One of the primary uses of nitric acid and nitric acid blends in metal processing is in the pickling process. Pickling is a metal surface treatment used to remove impurities, such as stains, inorganic contaminants, rust, or scale from ferrous metals, copper, and aluminum alloys. Nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid blends effectively remove the oxide layer, leaving the metal surface clean and ready for further processing like painting or enameling.

Nitric acid is also used in stainless steel passivation. This process makes material ‘passive’, meaning less affected by environmental factors such as air or water. When applied to stainless steel, nitric acid removes free iron contamination left behind on the surface of the metal from machining and fabricating. These contaminants can lead to premature corrosion and ultimately degrade the quality of the product. Once the iron is removed, a passive layer of chromium oxide is formed, improving the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel.

Dyes and Pigments

Nitric acid is instrumental in the production of dyes and pigments used in textiles and other materials. Its unique properties facilitate the creation of vibrant, long-lasting colors.

Nitric acid has unique color-changing properties. Pure nitric acid can change from colorless to yellow when exposed to light due to the formation of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). This property can useful in certain dye and pigment processes. Dyestuff degradation systems use nitric acid. And nitric acid is utilized in the purification and cleaning of noble metals like platinum, gold, and silver when used in pigments.

And nitric acid has proven crucial for the successful pretreatment of samples in the analysis of polychrome works of art.

Plastics Manufacturing

Nitric acid plays a role in the production of certain types of plastics, including nylon, by contributing to the synthesis of key intermediate compounds to affect strength and durability.

One of the primary uses of nitric acid in the production of plastics is in the creation of adipic acid. Adipic acid is a key ingredient in the manufacture of nylon-6,6. This type of nylon has excellent mechanical properties, including high tensile strength and good resistance to wear and abrasion making nylon-6,6 an ideal material for a variety of applications, including clothing, carpeting, and automotive parts.

Polyurethane foams are made with the help of Nitric acid.

Certain plasticizers, which are additives that increase the plasticity or flexibility of a material, are made from phthalic anhydride, which can be produced using nitric acid in the oxidation of naphthalene or o-xylene.

Nitric acid is also used to clean and etch plastic surfaces during manufacturing. This process can help improve the adhesion of paints and other finishes to the plastic surface.

Nitric acid is used in the production of acrylonitrile, a monomer used in the production of various types of plastic, including acrylic, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), and SAN (styrene-acrylonitrile).


Nitric acid has broad applications for manufacturers of products for developing and preserving photographs.

Photographic emulsion producers use nitric acid is used in the production of photographic emulsions which are key components of photographic development.

Nitric acid can also be used in photographic toners and bleaches. In these applications, it serves as an oxidizing agent that can alter the color of a photographic print or bleach out unwanted areas of an image.

Nitrogen dioxide and nitric acid are highly oxidizing and can fade the silver image to characteristic sepia tones. This is often used for artistic effect to give photographs an aged or vintage look.

Nitric acid is also used as a preservative for pyro, a developer used in film processing.

Cleaning, Etching & Plating

Nitric acid is widely used for industrial cleaning, etching and plating due to its strong oxidizing properties.

In the electronics industry nitric acid is often used in circuit board manufacturing to ensure the cleanest possible surface for component attachment.

Nitric acid is commonly used in photoengraving and the etching of steel.

Nitric acid can act as a general cleaning agent on all surfaces, including soak tanks. Its corrosive nature allows it to break down and remove accumulated grime and contaminants.

Nitric acid is often used to prepare surfaces for further processing or analysis. For example, a 20% Nitric Acid solution is often used for preparing metal surfaces for further processing.

Nitric acid, sometimes mixed with other acids like hydrofluoric acid, can be highly effective at etching specific metals like titanium, Nitinol, and stainless steel.

Nitric acid is ideal for plating processes due to its ability to clean and prepare metal surfaces, ensuring better adherence of the plating material.

Rocket Propellants

In the aerospace industry, nitric acid is extensively used in the rocket propellant industry due to its strong oxidizing properties. Here’s how it is utilized:

In liquid-fueled rockets nitric acid is used as an oxidizer to cause combustion without an external ignition source.

Nitric acid is used as an intermediate in the manufacture of nitrogen tetroxide, which is commonly used as a hypergolic propellant. Hypergolic propellants ignite spontaneously upon contact with each other.

Nitric acid can also be a component of gelled rocket propellants. These are mixtures of a gelling agent and a liquid fuel or oxidizer.

Nitric acid is used in conjunction with hydrazine-based fuels. Hydrazine, unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH), and monomethylhydrazine (MMH) are used as rocket propellants, and nitric acid can serve as the oxidizer.

Wastewater Treatment

Nitric acid’s utility extends to aiding in the purification of wastewater in a variety of environments.

Nitric acid can be used to adjust the pH levels in wastewater treatment plants. The pH of wastewater is crucial. If the pH is too high or too low, it could inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria or decrease the effectiveness of disinfectants.

Nitric acid can be used to remove nitrogenous compounds from wastewater. Nitrogenous compounds, such as ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite, can cause water pollution if not properly removed.

Nitric acid can be used to neutralize alkaline wastewaters. This is important because maintaining a neutral pH helps to prevent damage to pipes and equipment, and ensures that the treated water is safe for discharge or reuse.

Nitric acid aids in the recovery and reuse from effluents helping to reduce waste and making the treatment process more sustainable.

Nitric acid is used in the treatment of specific types of wastewaters, such as those containing nitroaromatic compounds or resulting from certain industrial processes.

Textile Industry

The textile industry utilizes nitric acid in the production of chemicals used in various stages of fabric production, protective treatment, and recycling.

Nitric acid is involved in various chemical processes in textile production, including the treatment of fibers and the manufacture of synthetic materials.

Various metal components and equipment can be protected from acidic corrosion with Nitric acid, ensuring effective and long-lasting protection.

Nitric acid can be used in the process of recycling some textiles or preparing them for further processing because it has been found to be effective in decomposing textiles based on cotton, wool, polyester, flax, and hemp.


Nitric acid also has a place in the pharmaceutical industry. It’s involved in the production of various drugs, playing a role in several manufacturing processes.

Nitric acid has applications in the synthesis of nitrate salts used in various pharmaceutical products.

Nitric acid can be used in drug detection procedures as a reagent to test for the presence of certain substances.

Nitric acid is used in the manufacture of a wide variety of pharmaceuticals such as in the synthesis of nitroglycerin, a medication used to treat heart conditions.

Nitric acid is often used in the cleaning and maintenance of equipment used in pharmaceutical production. This helps to maintain the sterility and integrity of the equipment, which is crucial in ensuring the quality and safety of pharmaceutical products.

Rubber Industry

Finally, the rubber industry uses nitric acid in the production of certain rubber chemicals contributing to the performance and durability.

O-rings and seals used in various industries, including the rubber industry, are often tested for their resistance to chemicals like nitric acid helping to ensure that they can withstand exposure to such chemicals in their intended applications.

Nitric acid is used in developing new rubber products or improving existing ones by aiding in material compatibility assessments. These assessments help to determine how different materials will react with each other.

Nitric acid can be used to accelerate rubber decomposition. Nitric acid can cause swelling, hardening, and cracking in vulcanized rubber chunks from waste tires.


Efficiently managing inventory is crucial for a smooth supply chain operation. The chemical logistics sector is no exception, facing challenges such as safety, capacity constraints, and growing sustainability concerns. Companies like Brainerd Chemical are leading the way with innovative solutions that customers can count on for more agile, safe and reliable supply procurement.

Many industrial customers are moving toward smaller, more frequent orders, minimizing their need to store large quantities of chemicals. In addition to being the only company drumming concentrated nitric acid in North America, Brainerd Chemical stands apart as a provider with comprehensive products and services, volume handling capabilities, dedicated truck, rail and freight delivery services, a proven regulatory compliance track record and an unparalleled commitment to safety.


Brainerd Chemical Company is one of the largest independent providers of chemicals and related services in the United States. As a manufacturer and hybrid distributor with a strategic network of facilities located in Oklahoma, Illinois, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Delaware. Brainerd Chemical Companies’ dedicated team of engineers, chemists and skilled technicians are high-hazard chemistry specialists proudly leading the way in safe, responsible chemical manufacturing and supply.



@Brainerd Chemical Company

SOURCE: Brainerd Chemical Company

Brainerd Chemical Company is one of the largest independent suppliers of chemicals and related services in the continental United States, manufacturing, blending, packaging and distributing chemical products to a wide variety of industrial sectors.