Ammonium hydroxide

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Ammonium hydroxide
Chemical formula NH4OH
OTP appearance colorless liquid 
Molar Mass(g/mol) 35.04 
Melting Point(°C) -57.5 
Boiling Point(°C) 37.7 
Density(g/cc) 0.88-0.91 
Enthalpy of Formation(kJ/mol) -80 
Solubility in water(g/L) misc
NFPA 704
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Uses

Primary

Secondary

  • Antibacterial
  • Fertilizer

Natural occurrence

  • Occurs naturally in the effluent of birds, fish, and rodents.

Hazards

  • Inhalation or consumption can be hazardous

Production

Extraction

  • Directly from excrement

Synthesis

From urea

  • Action of urease upon urea, usually in an aqueous environment at raised temperature.
    (NH2)2CO + 3 H2O CO2 + 2 NH3OH

Testing

Purification

Ammonium hydroxide has a relatively high vapor pressure. Like all such compounds, it can be purified by air stripping to a suitable solvent. Solutions of ammonium hydroxide will "boil off" small amounts of pure ammonia into the environment. Open containers of pure distilled water will absorb the ammonia, producing ammonium hydroxide. Thus a container of ammonium hydroxide and a container of distilled water, both in a sealed environment, will approach an equilibrium of concentrations of ammonium hydroxide. Although this decreases the concentration, it also increases the purity by restricting impurities to those that can be dissolved in air. The balance can be further driven by increasing the alkalinity and/or temperature of the source material relative to the absorbing material.

Storage

  • Airtight containers

Disposal

  • Small amounts of dilute ammonium hydroxide may be disposed of directly into soil.
  • Disposal directly into waterways is hazardous to indigenous aquatic life.

See Also

References