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Nitrate ions (NO3-) can be detected by reducingthem to ammonia. This is done by: adding sodium hydroxide solution, then aluminium powder or foil heating strongly If nitrate ions are present, ammonia gas is given off. This has a characteristic choking smell. It also turns damp red litmus paper or damp universal indicator paper blue.
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Na+ ion resembles Ne (Neon)atom. Give reason.