Abstract Nitrate forms an insoluble ternary complex, Ag(phen) 2NO 3, with silver in the presence of 1,10-phenanthroline (phen). A simple and direct conductometric titration of nitrate, based on the formation of this ternary complex, has been investigated. The sample solution is adjusted to pH 4.3 with acetate buffer and titrated with 0.1 M Ag(phen) + 2 complex solution in 40% ethanol—water mixture. The relative error is less than 0.5% and relative standard deviation less than 0.4%. The effect of ammonium ion and urea has also been studied. The method has been successfully applied to determination of nitrate-nitrogen in fertilizer.