Ammonium Acetate

Ammonium acetate or C2H7NO2 appears in the form of a crystalline white solid with a slight acetous odour. This ammonium salt is derived from the reaction of ammonia and acetic acid. The chemical name of this salt is Ammonium Acetate while it is even known as the spirit of Mindererus on the aqueous form. The other names of Ammonium Acetate include ammonium ethanoate and Azanium Acetate. This ammonium salt is extensively used in the preservation of foods; in pharmaceuticals and the chemical analysis procedure. This acetate salt works most effectively when used in the form of a food acidity regulator. However, it is one of the major threats to the atmosphere or the living environment. Instant measures need to be taken to restricting the spread of this hazardous sale in the environment.

Ammonium Acetate Properties

  • This deliquescent acetate salt comes with a low melting point of 114°C. 

  • Ammonium Acetate density: 1.17 g/cm3

  • Molecular weight: 277.083 g/mol

  • Ammonium acetate viscosity: 21

  • Molecular formula: C2H7NO2

  • Monoisotopic mass: 77.047676 Da

  • Ammonium acetate structure: C2H7NO2

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This image depicts the structure of Ammonium acetate. 

Understanding Ammonium Acetate Solubility

Coming to ammonium acetate solubility, it is water-soluble. The solubility of this acetous salt in water corresponds to around 102 g/100 mL at zero degrees temperature. The water solubility of the compound in water increases with an increase in temperature. Take for instance; its solubility will reach 5330 grams per litre of water at a temperature of 80 °C. It is worth noting that the compound even has liquid ammonia, acetone and alcohol solubility. It is thinly soluble in methanol with the solubility corresponding to 7.89 g/100 mL at 15°C and 131.24 g/100 g at 94.2°C. Other solubility specifications of the compound include:

Water solubility

  • 148 g/100 mL at 4°C

  • 143 g/100 mL at 20°C

  • 533 g/100 mL at 80°C

Dimethylformamide solubility

  • 0.1 g/100 g

Uses of Ammonium Acetate

There are large scale uses of Ammonium acetate. it is used in the form of a food acidity regulator. It is the food additive used for changing or controlling the alkalinity or acidity of foods. It is also widely used in the form of a catalyst in the Knoevenagel condensation procedure. The compound serves as one of the best sources of ammonia is the Borch reaction during organic synthesis. 


Ammonium acetate is used in combination with wholly distilled water for making a kind of protein precipitating reagent. The compound even serves in the form of a buffer for ESI or electrospray ionization mass spectrometry of molecules and proteins and the form of a mobile phase for HPLC or high-performance liquid chromatography. Quite rarely though, ammonium acetate is even used in the form of a biodegradable de-icing agent. It even works best when used as a diuretic.


Ammonium acetate tends to be unstable at low pressure, and this is why it is used for substituting cell buffers with different non-explosive salts in the preparation of mass spectrometry samples. Other important uses of this compound include:

  • Used in the manufacture of explosives.

  • Used for making foam rubber.

  • Used for preserving meat.

  • Used for manufacturing vinyl plastics.

  • Used in different agricultural products.

  • In analytical chemistry, the compound is used in the form of a reagent. It is used as a reagent in different dialysis procedures for the elimination of contaminants through diffusion.

  • In agricultural chemistry, ammonium acetate, when used as a reagent, helps in determining soil CEC or cation exchange capacity along with the availability of potassium in the soil. 

Ammonium Acetate Production

Two methods can be used for obtaining Azanium acetate, and they are:

  • Through the saturation of glacial acetic acid or CH3COOH with NH3 or ammonia.

  • Through the neutralization of acetic acid with (NH4)2CO3 or ammonium carbonate.

These are the two basic methods used for obtaining ammonium acetate, though some new methods have also surfaced in recent years.


Ammonium acetate functions in the form of an acetamide precursor. This results in a reaction that follows like this:

NH4CH3CO2 → CH3C (O) NH2 + H2O

The Side Effects of Ammonium Acetate

If ammonium acetate dust is inhaled in some way or the other, it can result in nose and mouth irritation. Swallowing this salt might irritate the mouth and the stomach. Any eye contact with this compound can result in rashes. The same goes for skin contact as well. Any contact with this compound can also result in gastrointestinal and respiratory irritation.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the detailed procedure of preparing ammonium acetate and its solution?

When ethanoic acid, the IUPAC name for acetic acid, is duly neutralized in combination with ammonium carbonate, it results in a chemical reaction that makes way for the production of ammonium acetate. Interchangeably, the compound is also produced by saturating glacial ethanoic acid with NH3 or ammonia. Since ammonium acetate is hygroscopic, it is quite challenging to produce this compound in crystalline form.


For preparing a 10 M ammonium acetate solution in 1 L, you will have to dissolve 770 grams of ammonium acetate in around 800 mL of water. You will need to adjust the volume for 1L with water. Next, sterilization needs to be done through filtration. Interchangeably, a 100 mL solution of the compound can be made by dissolving 77 grams of ammonium acetate in 70 mL water at normal room temperature.

2. What is the role classification of ammonium acetate?

Ammonium acetate serves certain chemical and biological roles. Take, for example, almost all the different varieties of substances or mixtures in aqueous solutions resist changes in pH with the addition of small quantities of ammonium acetate bases or acids. The biological role of the compound includes serving in the form of a food additive for controlling or changing the alkalinity or acidity of foods. The food additive form of ammonium acetate can be a base, acid, buffering agent or neutralizing agent.