Natural occurrence[ edit ] Ammonia is a chemical found in trace quantities in nature, being produced from nitrogenous animal and vegetable matter. Ammonia and ammonium salts are also found in small quantities in rainwater, whereas ammonium chloride sal ammoniac , and ammonium sulfate are found in volcanic districts; crystals of ammonium bicarbonate have been found in Patagonia guano. Properties[ edit ] Ammonia is a colourless gas with a characteristically pungent smell. It is lighter than air , its density being 0. Ammonia may be conveniently deodorized by reacting it with either sodium bicarbonate or acetic acid.
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It is normally encountered as a gas with a characteristic pungent odor. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of the planet as a precursor to foodstuffs and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals. Although it is in wide use, ammonia is caustic and hazardous.
Ammonia used commercially is usually named anhydrous ammonia. This term emphasizes the absence of water. Its heat of vaporization is, however, sufficiently high that NH3 can be readily handled in ordinary beakers in a fume hood. The strength of such solutions is measured in units of baume density , with 26 degrees baume about 30 weight percent ammonia at Household ammonia ranges in concentration from 5 to 10 weight percent ammonia. Anhydrous Ammonia Properties Ammonia is a colorless gas with a characteristic pungent smell similar to human urine, as the urine contains an amount of ammonia in it.
It is lighter than air, its density being 0. It is easily liquefied due to the strong hydrogen bonding between molecules; the liquid boils at Liquid ammonia has a very high standard enthalpy change of vaporization It is miscible with water. All the ammonia contained in an aqueous solution of the gas may be expelled by boiling. The aqueous solution of ammonia is basic. The maximum concentration of ammonia in water a saturated solution has a density of 0.
When mixed with oxygen, it burns with a pale yellowish-green flame. At high temperature and in the presence of a suitable catalyst, ammonia is decomposed into its constituent elements. Chlorine catches fire when passed into ammonia, forming nitrogen and hydrochloric acid; unless the ammonia is present in excess, the highly explosive nitrogen trichloride NCl3 is also formed. Agriculture Industry In addition to serving as a fertilizer ingredient, ammonia can also be used directly as a fertilizer by forming a solution with irrigation water, without additional chemical processing.
This later use allows the continuous growing of nitrogen dependent crops such as maize corn without crop rotation but this type of use leads to poor soil health. In , also known as Freon or R But ammonia is toxic, gaseous, irritant, and corrosive to copper alloys, and over a kilo is needed for even a miniature fridge.
With an ammonia refrigerant, the ever present risk of an escape brings with it a risk to life. However data on ammonia escapes has shown this to be an extremely small risk in practice, and there is consequently no control on the use of ammonia refrigeration in densely populated areas and buildings in almost all jurisdictions in the world.
Disinfectant It is also sometimes added to drinking water along with chlorine to form chloramine, a disinfectant. Unlike chlorine on its own, chloramine does not combine with organic carbon containing materials to form carcinogenic halomethanes such as chloroform. However, chlorine and ammonia should never be mixed in an uncontrolled environment because they cause a chemical reaction that releases toxic gas.
See Safety precautions for more information. Food Industry Ammonia is used in food industry as a source of nitrogen for fermentation process and pH adjuster Chemical Manufacturing In chemical manufacturing, ammonia is used as a precursor to nitrogenous compounds Hazards Identification Hazard Warnings: Anhydrous ammonia is a flammable which can causes severe skin burns and eye damage. It is a toxic gas which is dangerous if inhaled. It also very toxic to aquatic environment.
Wear protective gloves, eye protection.
R717 - ANHYDROUS AMMONIA
Anhydrous Ammonia: Uses & Safety