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Ammonia - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ammonia or azane is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. The simplest pnictogen
hydride, ammonia is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell. It contributes significantly to the
nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either
directly or indirectly, is also a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceutical products and is used in
many commercial cleaning products.

Although common in nature and in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous in its concentrated form. It
is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States as defined in Section 302 of the U.S.
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11002), and is subject to strict reporting
requirements by facilities which produce, store, or use it in significant quantities.[10]

The global industrial production of ammonia in 2014 was 176 million tonnes (173,000,000 long tons;
194,000,000 short tons),[11] a 16% increase over the 2006 global industrial production of 152 million tonnes
(150,000,000 long tons; 168,000,000 short tons).[12] Industrial ammonia is sold either as ammonia liquor
(usually 28% ammonia in water) or as pressurized or refrigerated anhydrous liquid ammonia transported in tank
cars or cylinders.[13]

NH3 boils at 33.34 C (28.012 F) at a pressure of one atmosphere, so the liquid must be stored under
pressure or at low temperature. Household ammonia or ammonium hydroxide is a solution of NH3 in water. The
concentration of such solutions is measured in units of the Baum scale (density), with 26 degrees baum (about
30% (by weight) ammonia at 15.5 C or 59.9 F) being the typical high-concentration commercial product.[14]

Ammonia is found in trace quantities in nature, being produced from the nitrogenous animal and vegetable
matter. Ammonia and ammonium salts are also found in small quantities in rainwater, whereas ammonium
chloride (sal ammoniac), and ammonium sulfate are found in volcanic districts; crystals of ammonium
bicarbonate have been found in Patagonian guano.[15] The kidneys secrete ammonia to neutralize excess
acid.[16] Ammonium salts are found distributed through fertile soil and in seawater.

Ammonia is also found throughout the Solar System on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto,
among other places: on smaller, icy worlds like Pluto, ammonia can act as a geologically important antifreeze,
as a mixture of water and ammonia can potentially have a melting point of as low as 173 kelvins if the ammonia
concentration is high enough and thus allow such worlds to retain internal oceans and active geology far longer
than would be possible with water alone.[17][18] Substances containing ammonia, or those that are similar to it,
are called ammoniacal.

Ammonia is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell. It is lighter than air, its density being 0.589
times that of air. It is easily liquefied due to the strong hydrogen bonding between molecules; the liquid boils at
33.3 C (27.94 F), and freezes at 77.7 C (107.86 F) to white crystals.[15]

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