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Ammonium Osmyl Oxychloride, (NH4)2OsO3.Cl2

Ammonium Osmyl Oxychloride, (NH4)2OsO3.Cl2, is obtained by careful addition of hydrochloric acid to the corresponding nitrite:

(NH4)2OsO3(NO2)2 + 2HCl = (NH4)2OsO3Cl2 + 2HNO2.

It is an advantage to use a slight excess of acid, as it tends to prevent oxidation from the nitrous fumes. The temperature, however, must not be greatly raised, otherwise the osmyl salt, (NH4)2OsO2.Cl4, or even the chlorosmate, (NH4)2OsCl6, may result. On very gently warming the nitrous fumes are disengaged, and a yellow crystalline deposit of ammonium osmyl oxychloride is obtained, which is but slightly soluble in water. With caustic potash, ammonia and potassium osmate are formed, the latter imparting to the solution its characteristic red-violet, colour.

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