Ammonium Chloride

Ammonium Chloride - Symbol, Structure, Uses and Applications

A chemical compound is a compound which is formed from the atoms of different elements combined in a specific ratio. The various types of atoms are joined by chemical bonds. Every compound has a fixed ratio between the elements. The elements combine together so strongly that the compound behaves like one substance. 

Chemical compounds can be in the form of liquid such as the water which is made from the atoms of hydrogen and oxygen sticking together. Chemical compounds can be in the form of solid such as sodium chloride which is made from the atoms of sodium and chlorine sticking together. Some chemical compounds are dangerous to use if they are not handled with proper safety measures. There are many chemical compounds which we use in our daily life, and today we will talk about such a chemical Compound.

Ammonium Chloride - Ammonium chloride is an inorganic chemical compound. Ammonium Chloride is a white crystalline salt which is highly soluble in water. Ammonium Chloride is composed of ammonium and chloride ions. Ammonium Chloride is a colorless chemical compound. The nature of the solutions of ammonium chloride is mildly acidic. The other names of ammonium chloride are Sal ammoniac, Salmiac, Nushadir salt, Sal Armagnac, Salt Armoniack, Salmiak. Sal ammoniac is a natural, mineralogical form of ammonium chloride. Sal ammoniac is generally formed on burning coal dumps from the condensation of coal-derived gases. Sal ammoniac is also found around some types of volcanic vents. Sal ammoniac is majorly used as fertilizer and a flavouring agent in some types of liquor. Sal ammoniac is the product from the reaction of hydrochloric acid and ammonia.

Properties of Ammonium Chloride
chemical formulaNH4Cl
molar mass53.49 g·mol−1
Physical propertiesOdourless
density1.519 g/cm3
melting point338 in ℃, 640 in °F, and 611 in K
boiling point520 in ℃, 968 in °F, and 793 in K
Solubilityliquid ammonia, hydrazine, slightly soluble in acetone, and insoluble in diethyl ether, ethyl acetate (244 g/L at -15 ℃, 294 g/L at 0 ℃, 383.0 g/L at 25 ℃, 454.4 g/L at 40 ℃, and 740.8 g/L at 100 ℃)
std. enthalpy−314.43 kJ/mol
Gibbs free energy−202.97 kJ/mol
Refractive index (nD)1.642 at 20 °C

Production of Ammonium Chloride - Ammonium Chloride is the product of the Solvay process. Apart from the Ammonium chloride, the sodium carbonate is another product of the Solvay process.

CO2 + 2 NH3 + 2NaCl + H2O → 2NH4Cl + Na2CO3

Usually, this method is used to minimize the release of ammonia from some industrial work. Commercially, ammonium chloride is prepared from the combination of ammonia (NH3) with either hydrogen chloride (gas) or hydrochloric acid.
NH3 + HCl → NH4Cl

Reactions with Ammonium Chloride -To release ammonia gas, ammonium chloride reacts with the strong base.

NH4Cl + NaOH → NH3 + NaCl + H2O

Ammonium chloride reacts with the alkali metal carbonates at the increased temperature which gives the ammonia and alkali metal chloride.

2NH4Cl + Na2CO3 → 2NaCl + CO2 + H2O + 2NH3

When heated, Ammonium chloride shows the neutral nature, but in reality, ammonium chloride decomposes into ammonia, and hydrogen chloride gas on the heat.

NH4Cl → NH3 + HCl

The solution of ammonium chloride in water has a pH in the range of 4.6 to 6.0.

History -The ancient mention about the ammonium chloride was in 554 A.D. in China. There were two sources of ammonium chloride at the time. The first source was the vents of underground coal fires in Central Asia, specifically, in the Tian Shan Mountains. The second source of ammonium chloride was the fumaroles of the volcano Mount Taftan in southeastern Iran. Ammonium chloride word is derived from the Iranian phrase anosh adur which means immortal fire. Ammonium chloride was transported at that time along the Silk Road eastwards to China and westwards to the Muslim lands and Europe. The Arabs of Egypt discovered ammonium chloride in 800 A.D. from the burning camel dung, and that source became an alternative source in Central Asia.

Application of Ammonium Chloride 

Fertilizers -
The main application of ammonium chloride is as a source of nitrogen in fertilizers. In Asia, in the crops of rice and wheat, Ammonium chloride is used as a fertilizer.

Metalwork - In preparing metals which are to be tin coated, galvanized or soldered, Ammonium chloride is used as a flux. Ammonium chloride works as a flux which cleans the surface of workpieces. Ammonium chloride is used as a flux in solder as well. 

Medicine -Ammonium chloride is used in the field of medical too. Ammonium chloride is used in cough medicines. Ammonium salts are useful to reduce nausea and vomiting. In the treatment of severe metabolic alkalosis, Ammonium chloride is used as a systemic acidifying agent. Ammonium chloride is useful in the oral acid loading test to diagnose distal renal tubular acidosis too.

Food - Ammonium chloride is used as a yeast nutrient in breadmaking and as an acidifier. In dark sweets called Salmiak, Ammonium chloride is used to spice up. Salmiak is a dark sweet which is popular Nordic and other nearby countries. In baked cookies, ammonium chloride is used to bring the crisp texture. Ammonium chloride is called as the Noshader in Iran, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, and some Arab countries. In samosas and jalebi, ammonium chloride is used to improve the crispness.

In the laboratory - To produce low temperatures in cooling baths, Ammonium chloride is used. As a buffer solution, ammonium chloride is used with ammonia. In palaeontology, the vapor of ammonium chloride is cemented on fossils; this stuff forms a white layer which can be easily removed and it is quite harmless.

 Flotation - With the help of ammonium chloride solution, Giant squid and some other large species of squid maintain the neutral buoyancy in seawater because the density of the solution of Ammonium chloride is less than the density of seawater. The solution of ammonium chloride tastes like Salmiakki and because of this unusual taste giant squid feel unattraction towards the human.

Other applications - To reduce the clay swelling problems, ammonium chloride is used for 5% in aqueous solution. Ammonium chloride is used as an electrolyte in Zinc-Carbon batteries. Ammonium chloride is used in hair shampoo, and cleaning products too. Ammonium chloride is used as glue to attach two plywood. For dyeing, tanning, textile printing, and cotton clustering, ammonium chloride is used in textile and leather industries. In Leclanché cells, Ammonium Chloride was used in aqueous solution as an electrolyte in the start of the 20th century. Ammonium chloride is used in Iron which is used for clothes.