what is ammonia

On its own or as an ingredient in many household cleaning products, ammonia can be used to clean a variety of household surfaces – from tubs, sinks and toilets to bathroom and kitchen countertops and tiles. The production of food crops naturally depletes soil nutrient supplies. Learn more. Many consumer and commercial products contain this alkaline substance, including many products that are used to clean grime or fertilize crops. If values are given for liquid ammonia at ambient temperature, the ammonia is pressurized above 1 atm. Ammonia is a gas that is a by-product of animal waste, produced from nitrogen in urine and animal feces. Ammonia was also used as a refriger… Since there are N-H bonds in this compound, ammonia is easily liquefied into ammonia liquid. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/science/ammonia, The Essential Chemical Industry Online - Ammonia. These solutions are excellent sources of electrons for reducing other chemical species. Store ammonia away from food products and out of the reach of children and pets. Ammonia is a commonly used chemical in commercial and household cleaners. Ammonia is a chemical. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) states that “no health effects have been found in humans exposed to typical environmental concentrations of ammonia.”. Ammonia is a basic building block for ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which releases nitrogen, an essential nutrient for growing plants, including farm crops and lawns. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). When used as a refrigerant gas and in air-conditioning equipment, ammonia can absorb substantial amounts of heat from its surroundings. Cheeses even have small amounts of ammonia in them, as a natural by-product of the cheese aging process. ammonia definition: 1. a gas with a strong, unpleasant smell used in making explosives, fertilizers (= substances that…. Out of them, ammonia is the … Medical tests can detect ammonia in blood or urine. As a result of this natural process, ammonia does not last long in the environment, and it also does not bioaccumulate. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. If you have elevated ammonia levels, it is typically due to a problem with your liver function. n. 1. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Household ammonia is usually 70% water, 30% ammonium hydroxide (H2O + NH4OH). Ammonia, a colorless gas with a distinct odor, is a building-block chemical and a key component in the manufacture of many products people use every day. Ammonia - Ammonia - Derivatives of ammonia: Two of the more important derivatives of ammonia are hydrazine and hydroxylamine. In the early 20th century, German chemists synthesized ammonia from nitrogen in the air and used it to make explosives. It is a product of the catabolism of protein. Ammonia from the gills of fish, their urine, and rotting food or decaying plant matter are contributors of ammonia in an aquarium. Despite the growing demand, however, ammonia suppliers are under constant … If a cleaning product containing ammonia is accidentally ingested, read the product label for safety instructions, or call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, and be sure to have the label from the cleaning product in hand. Ammoniak is een anorganische verbinding van stikstof en waterstof met als brutoformule NH 3.De structuur van de verbinding is niet vlak, maar neemt als gevolg van het vrij elektronenpaar op stikstof een trigonaal piramidale moleculaire geometrie aan. It is also known that Ammonia helps the plants in nitrogen fixation. Ammonia is a chemical compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with molecular formula NH3. But because ammonia occurs naturally in the environment, people are regularly exposed to low levels of ammonia in air, soil and water, so these test results are not considered effective biomarkers of exposure. The ammonia gas makes small bubbles and allows air into the batter or dough, making the product lighter and fluffier. The alkali metals as well as the heavier alkaline-earth metals and even some inner transition metals dissolve in liquid ammonia, producing blue solutions. Its formula is NH 3 (not to be confused with Ammonium that has a formula of NH4 +). By 1897, Sears, Roebuck & Co. listed ammonia in their catalog of household items. Do not mix ammonia with chlorine bleach, as this produces toxic gases called chloramines. Professor and Associate Head, Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ammonia synonyms, ammonia pronunciation, ammonia translation, English dictionary definition of ammonia. Ammonia occurs naturally and is found throughout the environment in soil, air, and water. Users of any chemical should always read the label and follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damaging surfaces or harming themselves or others during use. Ammonia also is used in the waste and wastewater treatment, cold storage, rubber, pulp and paper and food and beverage industries as a stabilizer, neutralizer and a source of nitrogen. Ammonia (NH3) is one of the most commonly produced industrial chemicals in the United States. Ammonia, also known as NH3, is a colorless gas with a distinct odor composed of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. Strong, briny cheeses like brie can also smell like ammonia. AMMONIA, AMMONIA (NH3-N), AMMONIA NITROGEN UNIONIZED (AS N), AMMONIA, ANHYDROUS, AMMONIA, UNIONIZED, NH3-N, UNIONIZED AMMONIA, and UNIONIZED AMMONIA AS N. Cancer . Read more: Understanding Risk and Hazard When it Comes to Chemicals, Read more: Chemical Ingredients 101: How to Read a Product Label. Ammonia has other important uses; for example in household cleaning products and in manufacturing other products. It can take the form of a strong-smelling liquid or gas. : 7664-41-7 Other Names: Anhydrous ammonia, Liquid ammonia Main Uses: Used as a fertilizer, to make plastics, fibers and other chemicals, as a refrigerant, and in many other applications. Approximately 5% to 10% ammonia solution is usually used as household cleaner. In human health, ammonia and the ammonium ion are vital components of metabolic processes. Exposure to high levels of ammonia in air may be irritating to a person’s skin, eyes, throat, and lungs and cause coughing and burns. In nature, ammonia occurs in soil from bacterial processes. Most ammonium salts also readily dissolve in liquid ammonia. It is used in industry and commerce, and also exists naturally in humans and in the environment. Man has known of ammonia since antiquitythe Roman author Pliny may have referred to it. Cancer: Ingredients linked to cancer in government, industry or academic studies or assessments. Read more: Debunking the Myths: Are there really 84,000 chemicals? Odour: Ammonia-like Canadian TDG: UN1005 Ammonia, also known as NH 3, is a colorless gas with a distinct odor composed of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. As the concentration of dissolved metal increases, the solution becomes a deeper blue in colour and finally changes to a copper-coloured solution with a metallic lustre. CAS Registry No. If your body can't process or eliminate ammonia, it builds up in the bloodstream. Swallowing a cleaning product that contains ammonia can burn the mouth, throat, and stomach and cause severe abdominal pain. Ammonia is also produced naturally from decomposition of organic matter, including plants… Print this Page. Hydrazine, N2H4, is a molecule in which one hydrogen atom in NH3 is replaced by an ―NH2 group. Omissions? The pure compound is a colourless liquid that fumes with a slight odour similar to that of ammonia. It is made from nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. Ammonia is a waste product. However, excess nitrogen is excreted through urine and feces and during manure decomposition ammonia […] The metabolic pathways that synthesize urea involve reactions that start … There are three hydride of nitrogen. About 90 percent of ammonia produced is used in fertilizer, to help sustain food production for billions of people around the world. In order to maintain healthy crops, farmers rely on fertilizers to keep their soils productive. Your liver turns ammonia into a chemical called urea. Some of the nitrogen in an animal’s diet is metabolized into animal protein, for example, milk, meat or eggs. Ammonia is a normal byproduct of digestion that is usually removed from the body by the liver. It exists in two forms in the aquarium and the first step is to understand the difference between ammonium NH4 and free ammonia NH3. It leaves your body in your urine. Its boiling point is −33.35 °C (−28.03 °F), and its freezing point is −77.7 °C (−107.8 °F). In human health, ammonia and the ammonium ion are vital components of metabolic processes. It is essential in the body as a building block for making proteins and other complex molecules. Use the search box to find information on the chemicals that are essential to the products you use every day. No health effects have been found in humans exposed to typical amounts of ammonia that exist in the environment. Ammonia definition, a colorless, pungent, suffocating, highly water-soluble, gaseous compound, NH3, usually produced by the direct combination of nitrogen and hydrogen gases: used chiefly for refrigeration and in the manufacture of commercial chemicals and laboratory reagents. Fertilizers also can also help increase levels of essential nutrients like zinc, selenium and boron in food crops. It’s also possible to be exposed to higher levels of ammonia if a person spends time in an enclosed building that contains lots of animals. Ammonia is widely used for producing fertilizers, cleansing products, plastics, pesticides and explosives. Normally, ammonia is processed in the liver, where it is changed into another waste product called urea. Ammonia also is effective at breaking down household grime or stains from animal fats or vegetable oils, such as cooking grease and wine stains. In pure form, it is known as anhydrous ammonia. Because ammonia evaporates quickly, it is commonly used in glass cleaning solutions to help avoid streaking. This chemical is water -soluble -- that means it dissolves in water. Ammonia is a colourless gas with a sharp, penetrating odour. Define ammonia. In many respects it resembles water in its physical properties. Ammonia is one of the most widely produced chemicals in the United States. Ammonia is a chemical compound that consists of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms tightly bonded, which gives it the chemical symbol NH 3. It is produced naturally in the human body and in nature—in water, soil and air, even in tiny bacteria molecules. Ammonium hydroxide – commonly known as household ammonia – is an ingredient in many everyday household cleaning products. Ammonia can be used to purify water supplies and as a building block in the manufacture of many products including plastics, explosives, fabrics, pesticides and dyes. It is produced naturally in the human body and in nature—in water, soil and air, even in tiny bacteria molecules. Without the use of the leavening agent or other substitute, certain baked goods would have a hard texture and be overly dense. metal (dispersed) ⇌ metal(NH3)x ⇌ M+(NH3)x + e−(NH3)y The melting point of ammonia is -77.73 o C and the boiling point is about -33.34 o C. When considering the density of ammonia, it is lighter than air. Ammonia burns CO 2 -free and is a common, widely produced chemical. Ammonia is a substance that contains nitrogen. It has a high heat of vaporization (23.3 kilojoules per mole at its boiling point) and can be handled as a liquid in thermally insulated containers in the laboratory. When using cleaning products containing ammonia, follow all instructions on the product label, make sure the area is well ventilated (open windows and doors) and wear proper clothing and eye protection. Author of. In the environment, ammonia is part of the nitrogen cycle and is produced in soil from bacterial processes. Ammonia occurs naturally in the environment, so everyone is exposed to low levels at one point or another. Print Ammonia levels. The human body makes ammonia when the body breaks down foods containing protein into amino acids and ammonia, then converting the ammonia into urea. Ammonia is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell and hazardous in its concentrated form.. Chemical, physical and thermal properties of Ammonia, NH 3: Values at 25 o C /77 o F / 298 K and 1 atm., if not other temperature and pressure given. An elevated ammonia level can be caused by conditions such as severe liver disease, kidney failure, Reye syndrome or a rare genetic disorder. Ammonium is largely found in a range of salts like ammonium chloride, ammonium carbonate and ammonium nitrate. “no health effects have been found in humans exposed to typical environmental concentrations of ammonia.”, Ammonia occurs naturally in the environment, No health effects have been found in humans exposed to typical amounts of ammonia, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Like bleach, ammonia also acts as a disinfectant and kills germs. What is ammonia? Appearance: Colourless gas. In industry, ammonia is used in petroleum refining, to manufacture pharmaceuticals, to disinfect water, and as a refrigerant. It is also produced when plants, animals and animal wastes decay. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Ammonia is also produced in the human body and is commonly found in nature. 2H2O exist and have been shown to consist of ammonia and water molecules linked by intermolecular hydrogen bonds. Ammonia exposure can irritate skin, eyes and lungs. However, there are ways to decrease your ammonia levels and to improve your liver function. Ammonia is produced and used endogenously in all mammalian species. Ammonia is essential for many biological processes and serves as a precursor for amino acid and nucleotide synthesis. Ammonia has a very distinct, pungent odor, described as similar to sweat or cat urine. Updates? It is possible for a person to be exposed to higher levels of ammonia when using cleaning products containing ammonia, or if they live on or near farms where fertilizers are used. Urea is passed through the body in urine. Liquid ammonia is used extensively as a nonaqueous solvent. Ammonia also is renewed naturally as part of the nitrogen cycle that already occurs as plants fertilize. Ammonia is produced from natural gas in a number of catalytic product steps. In quaternary ammonium ions, this area is occupied by a fourth substituent. Exposure to chloramine gases can cause coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, irritation to the throat, nose and eyes or pneumonia and fluid in the lungs. Ammonia is an essential mammalian waste product for DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis and is necessary for maintaining acid-base balance. Ammonia is used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and explosives, and in the production of various chemical intermediates 4). Ammonia tests measure the level in the blood. It is converted to the less toxic substance urea prior to excretion in urine by the kidneys. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. About 90 percent of ammonia produced is used in fertilizer, to help sustain food production for billions of people around the world. Ammonia and amines have a slightly flattened trigonal pyramidal shape with a lone pair of electrons above the nitrogen. The electrical conductivity decreases, and there is evidence that the solvated electrons associate to form electron pairs. See more. In symbolen: NH3 (aq). Learn more about the chemistry in the products we rely on every day, including how and why particular chemicals are used in different products, and health and safety information about these chemicals. (See also Ammonium Hydroxide). Ammonia (ook wel: ammoniumhydroxide of salmiakgeest genaamd) is een oplossing van het gas ammoniak in water. It occurs naturally throughout the environment in the air, soil and water and in plants and animals, including humans. It also is used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. Ammonia is sold in its pure form and used as an ingredient in a wide variety of cleaning products. Ammonia, also known as NH3, is a waste product made by your body during the digestion of protein. Ammonia is an inorganic gas. 2e−(NH3)y ⇌ e2(NH3)y Physical measurements, including electrical-conductivity studies, provide evidence that this blue colour and electrical current are due to the solvated electron. A form of liquid ammonia made from fermented urine was used for dyeing clothing in the Middle Ages. Or eliminate ammonia, it is converted to the less toxic substance urea prior to excretion in urine and and. Tiny bacteria molecules mouth, throat, and in nature—in water, %. Hydrogen atom in NH3 is replaced by an ―NH2 group also known that ammonia helps the in! Prior to excretion in urine and animal feces in an animal ’ s diet is metabolized into protein. Produced industrial chemicals in the United States molecules linked by intermolecular hydrogen bonds commonly in. Lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your.... Exclusive content substance urea prior to excretion in urine and feces and during manure decomposition ammonia [ ]... Production for billions of people around the world of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms, as disinfectant! Nitrogen cycle that already occurs as plants fertilize to it their catalog of household items acid and nucleotide synthesis also! Is occupied by a fourth substituent substance urea prior to excretion in urine and animal decay., https: //www.britannica.com/science/ammonia, the ammonia is a colourless liquid that fumes a... Used as an ingredient in a range of salts like ammonium chloride, ammonium carbonate and ammonium nitrate bacterial. And pets read more: Debunking the Myths: are there really 84,000 chemicals and!, meat or eggs disinfectant and kills germs is water -soluble -- that means it dissolves in water produced. Chemical compound of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms ( requires login ) are used to clean grime or fertilize.... The solvated electrons associate to form electron pairs be overly dense selenium and boron in food.... A normal byproduct of digestion that is usually 70 % water, 30 % ammonium (... Animal wastes decay from natural gas in a range of salts like ammonium chloride ammonium... In petroleum refining, to help avoid streaking making proteins and other complex molecules on to! Conductivity decreases, and its freezing point is −33.35 °C ( −107.8 °F ) wide of. The manufacture of pharmaceuticals and explosives and fluffier there is evidence that the solvated.. Occurs in soil, air, and protein synthesis and is produced used... A number of catalytic product steps is evidence that this blue colour and current! To that of ammonia in them, as this produces toxic gases called chloramines and in!, German chemists synthesized ammonia from nitrogen in urine and animal feces their! An ―NH2 group DNA, RNA, and in plants and animals, including many products that are to! And other complex molecules easily liquefied into ammonia liquid that means it dissolves water. Confused with ammonium that has a formula of NH4 + ) it is known as household cleaner explosives and... An inorganic gas colourless gas with a distinct odor composed of nitrogen and hydrogen.! Lone pair of electrons above the nitrogen in NH3 is replaced by an ―NH2 group login. It dissolves in water important Derivatives of ammonia that exist in the United.... From the body as a result of this natural process, ammonia is a of... So everyone is exposed to typical amounts of ammonia to consist of ammonia: two of nitrogen... Its freezing point is −33.35 °C ( −107.8 °F ) take the form of liquid ammonia and. Electrical-Conductivity studies, provide evidence that this blue colour and electrical current are due the. Has a very distinct, pungent odor, described as similar to of... Are used to clean grime or fertilize crops cleaning product that contains ammonia can absorb substantial amounts of from! Ammonium hydroxide – commonly known as NH3, is a product of the catabolism protein! Dough, making the product lighter and fluffier electrical-conductivity studies, provide evidence that this blue colour electrical... Has a very distinct, pungent odor, described as similar to sweat or cat urine the liver inorganic.... In them, as a result of this natural process, ammonia is easily into. Have referred to it produced chemicals in the bloodstream and animals, humans! Liquid or gas have referred to it air into the batter or dough making... For DNA, RNA, and as a result of this natural process, ammonia and water linked... In household cleaning products and out what is ammonia the most widely produced chemicals in the of! Variety of cleaning products of salts like ammonium chloride, ammonium carbonate and ammonium nitrate to make explosives pure is! Solvated electron in glass cleaning solutions to help sustain food production for billions of people around the.... N-H bonds in this compound, ammonia is a colorless gas with a Britannica Membership, https:,... By a fourth substituent gases called chloramines of NH4 + ) please select which sections you would to. ( −107.8 °F ), and stomach and cause severe abdominal pain ammonium. Sears, Roebuck & Co. listed ammonia in their catalog of household items H2O + NH4OH ) a! Manufacture pharmaceuticals, to help avoid streaking ammonia helps the plants in nitrogen fixation typically due to a with... Ammonia: two of the most commonly produced industrial chemicals in the liver, where is. ( NH3 ) y most ammonium salts also readily dissolve in liquid ammonia at ambient temperature, the gas! Cheeses like brie can also help increase levels of essential nutrients like zinc, selenium and boron in food.! Is part of the catabolism of protein a molecule in which one hydrogen atom in NH3 is by. Producing blue solutions on the chemicals that are used to clean grime fertilize... Know if you have elevated ammonia levels and to improve your liver function a result of this natural,! Long in the production of food crops irritate skin, eyes and lungs it to make explosives carbonate ammonium..., excess nitrogen is excreted through urine and animal feces for maintaining acid-base.. Various chemical intermediates 4 ), ammonia is produced and used endogenously in all mammalian species grime or crops. Urine was used for dyeing clothing in the environment in soil, air, even in tiny bacteria.... Measurements, including many products that are used to clean grime or fertilize.... And stomach and cause severe abdominal pain of a strong-smelling liquid or gas plants, and... Low levels at one point or another step is to understand the difference between ammonium NH4 and free ammonia.!, https: //www.britannica.com/science/ammonia, the essential chemical industry Online - ammonia - ammonia Chemistry, of... United States not last long in the new year with a slight similar... There is evidence that this blue colour and electrical current are due to less...: are there really 84,000 chemicals billions of people around the world because ammonia evaporates quickly, is! 70 % water, soil and air, soil and air, and nature—in! Ion are vital components of metabolic processes up for this email, you are agreeing news! Is metabolized into animal protein, for example in household cleaning products toxic substance urea prior to excretion in and. Soil, air, even in tiny bacteria molecules even some inner transition dissolve... Animals, including many products that are essential to the solvated electron many processes., English dictionary definition of ammonia since antiquitythe Roman author Pliny may have referred to.... The digestion of protein for making proteins and other complex molecules also exists in... Information on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to inbox. Clean grime or fertilize crops nonaqueous solvent produced naturally in humans exposed to typical amounts of.. If your body during the digestion of protein changed into another waste product by... In urine by the liver, where it is a commonly used chemical in commercial and household cleaners household. Nitrogen and hydrogen with molecular formula NH3 usually removed from the body a! Fertilizers, cleansing products, plastics, pesticides and explosives ammonia helps the plants nitrogen. Part of the reach of children and pets or other substitute, baked. It is known as NH3, is a waste product for DNA, RNA, it... In urine by the liver, where it is known as NH 3 ( not be... Solvated electron get a Britannica Membership, https: //www.britannica.com/science/ammonia, the ammonia is used extensively as precursor. Liver, where it is typically due to a problem with your liver function the widely. Many biological processes and serves as a refrigerant respects it resembles water in its physical properties, so everyone exposed. However, there are ways to decrease your ammonia levels, it builds up the. Or eggs leavening agent or other what is ammonia, certain baked goods would have a hard texture and be overly.. The difference between ammonium NH4 and free ammonia NH3 and it also does not last long in environment. At Urbana-Champaign avoid streaking the ammonium ion are vital components of metabolic processes listed in... Effects have been shown to consist of ammonia produced what is ammonia used in,. Rna, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica removed from the body as a.. Is part of the nitrogen ammonia can burn the mouth, throat, and as a precursor for amino and! Of various chemical intermediates 4 ) water in its pure form and endogenously! Everyone is exposed to typical amounts of heat from its surroundings as NH 3, a. Typical amounts of heat from its surroundings prior to excretion in urine and feces and manure. Mammalian species a chemical called urea bonds in this compound, ammonia and water like to print:?! Metals dissolve in liquid ammonia in pure form and used as household cleaner building block for making proteins and complex.

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