This is a type of salt compound that is composed of bismuth in its oxidation state and nitrate anions. Most commonly the solid form found is the pentahydrate and it is used often in the synthesis of other bismuth compounds. It is available commercially and it is one of the only nitrate salts formed by a group 15 elements. In terms of the preparation of this chemical, it can be prepared through the reaction of bismuth metal and concentrated nitric acid. It will dissolve in that acid but can readily hydrolyze to form an oxynitride. In terms of the appearance of this chemical, it often appears colorless or white in a powder, solid state.