Nitric acid is used in the production of ammonium nitrate for fertilizers, making plastics, and in the manufacture of dyes. It is also used for making explosives such as nitroglycerin and TNT. When it is combined with hydrochloric acid, an element called aqua regia is formed.
This is a reagent that is capable of dissolving gold and platinum. Additionally, it is used in a colorimetric test to distinguish heroin and morphine.
Nitric acid can be used as a spot test for alkaloids like LSD, producing a variety of colors, depending on the alkaloid.