Ammonia (NH3) is one of the frequently developed chemical compounds which are generally used in various industries. Consisting one atom of nitrogen and three atoms of hydrogen, this chemical is either a strong smelling gas or liquid. It is utilized in several industries and commerce as well as it is present in us, humans and also in the environment. Many biological procedures require ammonia and it also functions a precursor for amino acids and nucleotide synthesis. Ammonia is a vital part of the entire nitrogen cycle and is developed in soil from bacterial processes. Apart from synthetically producing it, ammonia can also be created in a natural manner by decomposing organic matter which includes animals, plants and animal wastes. Ammonia-based commercial products are many a time used to fertilize crops, and clean grime. This chemical compound is very harmful and even in minimal amount, if got in contact with skin or accidentally inhaled can cause fainting, dizziness, burning and can sometimes prove fatal.
A few of the many physical and chemical properties of ammonia –
It has alkaline properties and is corrosive.
Ammonia, in pure form is called anhydrous ammonia and is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture).
Ammonia is generally transported in a compressed manner in steel containers.
It forms a clear liquid when under pressure.
Ammonia in the form of gas is considerably lighter than air. Therefore, it will never be confined indoors like other hazardous gases, like propane. Even though ammonia is pungent, acrid and has a typical odor, it is clear and cannot be easily combusted unless it is very concentrated. This factor makes it much safer than other chemicals for in-house usage. There are many uses of ammonia – approximately 80% of the total ammonia produced by the industries is used as a fertilizer in agriculture. This compound is also used for cleansing of the water supplies and used as refrigerant gas. Apart from these, it is also used in the manufacturing of textiles, plastics, pesticides, explosives, and other chemicals. Ammonia cleaning solutions in household are specifically developed by diluting 5% to 10% ammonia in water.