Ammonia Formula

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Introduction

Ammonia has the chemical formula NH3, present in a gaseous state. In a gaseous state, it has one Nitrogen atom and 3 Hydrogen atoms attached to it. However, If any counter ion is present with it, it results in the formation of ionic compounds. For example, If a Chlorine atom is present as a negative ion, then it has the chemical formula NH3Cl. Ammonium chloride formula has three hydrogen atoms attached to a single nitrogen atom. A single chlorine atom is attached as a counter ion. It is present in liquid form. Depending upon a counter atom, shapes, physical and chemical properties vary accordingly.


The Molecular Formula of Ammonia

As we discussed above, the molecular formula of Ammonia has one nitrogen atom and 3 Hydrogen atoms attached to it. It has a molecular mass of 17.03 g/mol. They are arranged in such a way that there is minimum repulsion between bond pairs and lone pairs. So, the structure of the ammonia molecule is trigonal pyramidal with a bond angle of 106.7⁰C. 

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Structure of Ammonium Chloride

In Ammonium Chloride, 4 H atoms are attached to the 1 N atom. Which imparts a positive charge on the nitrogen atom. This gives the ammonium ion formula NH4+. This positive charge is balanced by the negatively charged Chlorine atom in the ammonium chloride formula.

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Preparation of Ammonia

Ammonia is prepared by the Haber process on an industrial scale. One mole of Nitrogen gas is made to react with 3 moles of hydrogen gas at high pressure and 400-550℃. Metal catalysts are often used to catalyze the reaction. The chemical reaction known as the ammonia equation is as shown below:

N2 + 3H2 → 2NH3

This reaction yields ammonia gas which has a foul odor and transparent in nature. It can be liquified at a very low temperature (-196℃), which is known as liquid Nitrogen. Liquid Nitrogen is the most commonly used solvent in laboratories. Ammonia acts as a very good base.


Uses of Ammonia

It is a brilliant base used in laboratories to abstract the proton from acids. It is one of the main precursors for the preparation of numerous nitrogen-containing compounds. Alkali and alkaline earth metals are stored in liquid nitrogen. It is used in fertilizers to provide nutrients to the soil and plants. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Ammonia Used for?

Answer: It is the most commonly used solvent in organic chemistry. It is the building block of various chemical compounds, nitrogen bases, nucleic acids, and medicines. It is used to store alkali and alkaline earth metals as they are highly reactive in the air. It is used in fertilizers as a source of nitrogen to the plants and soil. 

2. Is Ammonia Basic or Acidic?

Answer: The most basic property of the base is to remove the hydrogen atoms. Ammonia has three H atoms around it. It has a tendency to gain one more H atom. So it can easily abstract proton from an acid, which makes it basic in nature. Another definition of the base includes that all compounds containing lone pairs are basic in nature. It is clearly visible in the structure that it has one lone pair of electrons. So it is clearly a base.