Sodium nitrite has been used as a corrosion inhibitor in closed water systems for years. Sodium nitrite acts as an anodic corrosion inhibitor in the same way as chromate and molybdate. Nitrite works as an anodic corrosion inhibitor to form a protective gamma iron oxide film on the metal surface. This layer is formed by the reaction of nitrite and dissolves oxygen, and then it is repaired by nitrite alone. Since the need for this film is small, nitrite is not used in practical amounts. It is this film that protects the metal surface from corrosion attack.
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