Ammonia is a colourless gas having a distinct odour. It consists of both nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. It is made naturally in both the human body and nature, such as in air, water, soil, and even in bacteria. Both ammonia and the ammonium ions in the human body are important components of several metabolic processes. The human body produces ammonia when it breaks down foods that consist of protein into ammonia and amino acids. It then converts the ammonia to urea. It also plays a crucial role in manufacturing many different products that we use in our day to day lives.
Ammonium hydroxide, known typically as household ammonia, is an essential ingredient in our day to day household cleaning products. Ammonia makes for the building block for the ammonium nitrate fertilizer. It tends to release nitrogen which is a crucial nutrient in growing plants. In this article, we will learn about the properties of ammonia, liquid ammonia uses and the other uses of ammonia.
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Physical Properties of Ammonia
Let us now discuss the physical properties of ammonia.
Chemical Properties of Ammonia
Let us now learn about the chemical properties of ammonia.
Ammonia is highly soluble in water. The NH3 aqueous solution is a weak base since OH- ions get formed.
NH3 + H20 → N4+ + OH-
Ammonium salts get formed when ammonia reacts with an acid.
ZnS04 + 2NH4OH (g) → Zn(OH)2 + (NH4)2SO4
Uses of Ammonia
Now, let us take a look at the ammonia solution uses, ammonium carbonate uses, and ammonia gas uses.
1. Uses of Ammonia in Fertilizers
Around 90 per cent of the ammonia which is produced tends to get used up in fertilizers to help in sustaining the production of food for the population of the world. When food crops are produced naturally, it depletes the supplies of the soil nutrients. For maintaining the health of the crops, farmers depend on fertilizers for keeping their soils better and productive. Also, fertilizers tend to help in increasing the level of the essential nutrients such as selenium, zinc and boron the food crops.
2. Uses of Ammonia in several Household Cleaning Products
Ammonia is used as an ingredient or on its own in several household products used for cleaning many household surfaces such as sinks, toilets, tubs, tiles, kitchen countertops, etc. Ammonia is effective also in breaking down the stains from vegetable oils, animal fats, or any sorts of household grime or cooking grease. Since ammonia tends to evaporate faster, it is often used to clean glasses and, in turn, help in preventing streaking.
3. Uses of Ammonia in Industries and Manufacturing
Ammonia tends to absorb significant amounts of heat from its surroundings when it is used in the form of a refrigerant and the air-conditioning equipment.
Ammonia is also used in the purification of the water supplies. It also acts as a building block for manufacturing many different kinds of products including fabrics, plastics, dyes, explosives, and pesticides.
Ammonia also has its use in the treatment of wastewater and waste, rubber, cold storages, paper and pulp, and in the industries of food and beverages in the form of a stabilizer, neutraliser, and acts as a nitrogen source. It also has its usage in the manufacturing of several pharmaceuticals.