In relation to the heterogeneous hydrogenation of nitrite, adsorption of NO2-, NH4+, and NH2OH from the aqueous phase was examined on Pt/Al2O3, Pd/Al2O3, and Al2O3. None of the investigated inorganic nitrogen compounds adsorb on alumina at conditions presented in this study. NO2-(aq) and NH4+(aq) on the other hand show similar adsorption characteristics on both Pd/Al2O3 and Pt/Al2O3. The vibrational spectrum of the NO2- ion changed substantially upon adsorption, clearly indicating that NO2- chemisorbs onto the supported metal catalysts. On the contrary, adsorption of NH4+ does not lead to significant change in the vibrational spectrum of the ion, indicating that the NH4+ ion does not chemisorb on the noble metal but is stabilized via an electrostatic interaction. When comparing the adsorption of hydroxylamine (NH2OH(aq)) on Pd/Al2O3 and Pt/Al2O3, significant differences were observed. On Pd/Al2O3, hydroxylamine is converted into a stable NH2(ads) fragment, whereas on Pt/Al2O3 hydroxylamine is converted into NO, possibly via HNO(ads) as an intermediate.