The chemical name of NO3 is nitrate. A nitrate is a compound that contains the NO3- ion and carries a net charge of 1. The nitrate ion is a polyatomic ion, and its molecular mass is 62 grams per mole.
Compounds such as potassium nitrate (KNO3), sodium nitrate (NaNO3) and ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) are nitrates. Compounds containing nitrates are used as fertilizers as they are highly soluble in water and contain nitrogen, which is needed by plants. Nitrates are used in the manufacture of explosives such as nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose. Sodium nitrate is used in the glass and ceramics industry. Nitrates are found naturally in the earth’s crust in the form of nitrate salts.