Properties of Ammonium Oxalate C₂H₈N₂O₄

Ammonium oxalate, having the chemical formula C2H8N2O4, is an inorganic compound. It can also be called diammonium salt or diammonium oxalate. It is an oxalate salt that consists of ammonium and makes for a strong dicarboxylic acid. It contains ammonium and oxalate ions in the ratio of 2:1. Ammonium oxalate is a colourless to white crystalline solid under standard condition. It does not have any odour and is non-volatile by nature.


Ammonium oxalate tends to mix slowly with water and has its presence in several plants and vegetables. It is used in the form of a general reducing agent and as an analytical reagent. Ammonium oxalate, along with several oxalates, is used in the form of anticoagulants for preserving blood outside of the body.


Today, in this article, we will discuss what is ammonium oxalate C2H8N2O4, what are the different properties of ammonium oxalate C2H8N2O4, and the uses of ammonium oxalate. Let us first learn about the formula and structure of ammonium oxalate.


Ammonium Oxalate Formula

Ammonium oxalate is also called diammonium ethanedioate, which is an oxalic acid salt having ammonium. It is a common salt which is used in the analysis for determining the metal concentrations.


The chemical formula of ammonium oxalate is denoted by (NH4)22C2O4 or NH4OOCCOONH4.

The molecular formula of ammonium oxalate is C2H8N2O4.

The oxalate ion (C2O4)2- gets formed from oxalic acid via the dissociation of two acidic hydrogens which forms an anion. Two ammonium ions (NH4)+ are present in the molecules in the form of cations, wherein one ammonium substitutes every hydrogen that is lost.

Let us now learn about the chemical structure of ammonium oxalate.


Structure of C2H8N2O4

The structure of ammonium oxalate is given below:


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Ammonium Oxalate Occurrence

Let us now discuss where ammonium oxalate is present.

Ammonium oxalate is found in many different types of kidney stones. It is also found in guano which is known to be an accumulation of seals, seabirds and/or bat. The mixture is rich in nitrogen since the higher concentration of ammonium oxalate along with urate can be used as fungicide and fertilizer for plants.


The properties of ammonium oxalate are as follows:


Properties of C2H8N2O4

Chemical formula of ammonium oxalate

C2H8N2O4

Density 

1.5 at 65.3° F

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

124.1 g/mol

Melting point

70°C

Appearance 

White solid crystals


Ammonium oxalate is a colourless solid crystal under the standard conditions and has a melting point of 374.5K in the hydrated form and anhydrous form is 463K. It is soluble in both water and alcohol but not in ether. Take a look at the picture given below which shows the white solid crystals of ammonium oxalate.


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Uses of Ammonium Oxalate

Let us now discuss the ammonium oxalate uses. Ammonium oxalate is used in the following ways.

  1. Ammonium oxalate is found in vertebrates and is produced by the metabolism of either glycolic acid or ascorbic acid.

  2. It exists in the mineral form as oxammite.

  3. It acts as an analytical reagent.

  4. It also acts as a reducing agent.

  5. It is used in preserving blood outside the body in the form of an anticoagulant.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How is Ammonium Oxalate Prepared?

Ans: Ammonium oxalate is prepared from the neutralization of an oxalic acid diluted in water. Ammonium hydroxide or ammonium carbonate are used as an ammonium source.


(NH4)2CO3 + H2C2O4 (NH4)22C2O4 + CO2 + H2O


2NH4OH + H2C2O4 (NH4)22C2O42H2O

2. What are the Health Hazards of Ammonium Oxalate?

Ans: Ammonium oxalate has many severe health hazards. These are explained below:

  • On ingesting or inhaling the ammonium oxalate dust in excess, it tends to cause systemic poisoning.

  • If it comes in contact with the eyes, it irritates. If it comes in contact with the body or skin, the skin gets irritated and sometimes even severely burned.

  • Ammonium oxalate can be easily absorbed through the skin and irritates immediately and to a greater extent. If a person tends to get exposed to ammonium oxalate and if they notice any signs or symptoms, they should immediately contact a physician.

3. Is Ammonium Oxalate Covalent or Ionic?

Ans: Ammonium oxalate molecules tend to have an ionic bond between the oxalate anion and the ammonium cation. Therefore, ammonium oxalate is called an ionic compound. Also, this particular compound tends to have two polyatomic ions. The ammonium cation is known to be a polyatomic ion which is made up of nitrogen and hydrogen. The oxalate anion is also known to be a polyatomic ion that is made up of carbon and oxygen atoms. So, it is concluded that ammonium oxalate is an ionic compound and not a covalent compound since the anion and cation have ionic bonds between them.