Uses of Ammonia


Ammonia is a gas that is made naturally in the body of humans as well as in nature. It is found in soil, water, and air, as well as in bacteria. Ammonia, as well as ammonium ions, is considered as the most important components for human body as it helps in metabolic processes.

What is ammonia?

Ammonia is nothing but a gas that has no colour but a pungent smell. It is able to dissolve into water, furnishes strong alkaline solution. The solution of ammonia is mainly used as a cleaning fluid.

Figure 1: Molecular Structure of Ammonia

Ammonia bears the formula of NH3 and this compound occurs naturally and make through the activities of humans. This compound is called one of the most important sources of nitrogen. The animals as well as the plants require this nitrogen produced by ammonia. Bacteria present in the intestine mainly produce ammonia.

Many people may know about the odour of ammonia because this compound has been using in smelling salts, industrial cleaners, as well as household works. The liquid ammonia when exposed to air turns into gas, which can be used directly into the soil for farming.

Properties of ammonia

The physical, as well as chemical properties of ammonia are described below −

Physical Properties

Chemical formula of ammoniaNH3
AppearanceA gas having no colour
OdourStrong and pungent odour
The point where it melts-77.73°C or -107.91F or 195.42 K
The point where it boiled33.34°C or -28.01F or 239.81 K
Density0.86 kg/m3

Table 1: Physical properties of ammonia

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties are as follows −

  • This compound is highly soluble in water and the aqueous solution of NH3 is called a weak base until the formation of OH- takes place.

$$\mathrm{NH_3 + H_2O\:\rightarrow\:NH_4^{+} + OH^{-}}$$

  • The reaction of ammonia with acid mainly forms ammonium salts.

$$\mathrm{ZnSO_4 + 2NH_4OH (g)\:\rightarrow\: Zn(OH)_2 + (NH_4)_2SO_4}$$

Uses of Ammonia

Ammonia is basically a gas naturally found in the environment such as, in soil, water, as well as in air. This compound is called the essential building-block chemical in manufacturing different products. People use various things in their everyday life and which are made up using ammonia. The usefulness of ammonia are as follows −

In the field of the industry

NH3 is mostly used in different industries and as a neutralizer as well as a stabilizer. This is called the source of nitrogen that helps in performing different functions. The main application of this compound is seen in the treatment of wastewater, rubber, beverage, leather, as well as food industries.

Another use of this compound has been seen in cold storage, in the system of refrigeration, and in the creation of pharmaceutical products. The industries of cosmetics, as well as the printing industries, also use this compound and along with its use is in the process of fermentation.

Figure 2: Ammonia synthesis from coal

The Products of the Household

The various cleaning products in the household are manufactured using ammonia and known as the most essential ingredient of those products. This compound is mostly used as an agent which helps in cleaning or removing stains on sinks, mirrors, tubs, as well as windows. Ammonia is applied as fuel and it is also used in the preparation of antiseptic or an antimicrobial agent.

In Agriculture

The industries related to agriculture mostly use the compound. Ammonia is known as a very rich source of nitrogen and used in fertilizers. This fertilizer helps in the production of food and the application has been seen in making liquid fertilizer solutions. It is consist of some compounds such as, nitrate of ammonia, ammonium salts, urea, as well as others. This is called an antifungal agent used in different foods and helps in the preservation.

The Manufacturing of Different Compounds

NH3 helps in manufacturing different compounds such as, ammonium carbonate, nitric acid, hydrogen cyanide, amino acids, urea, phenol, and many more.

Treatment of Metal

Dissociated form of ammonia is commonly used in different operations such as, nitriding, sintering, carbo nitriding, furnace brazing, atomic hydrogen welding, bright annealing, and many other operations.

In Mining as well as Petroleum

The industries of petroleum, as well as, the mining industries, have been used ammonia for counterbalancing acid constituents of oil and known as crude form. This matter helps in keeping the equipment free from corrosion. This also helps in the industries of mining in extracting different metals.


Ammonia is consisting of the formula NH3 and a colourless gas. This has a pungent odour found naturally. The human body produces ammonia during digesting of foods and consist of ammonia and amino acids. After that, it converts ammonia into urea, which plays a significant role in manufacturing various products.


Q1. What are the harmful effects of ammonia?

Ans. Ammonia is known as a natural compound as found naturally everywhere. This compound also has harmful effects when it is consumed in a high amount and they are coughing, irritation in the eyes, problem in the throat and lungs, and skin irritation.

Q2. What is the reason for ammonia production?

Ans. Ammonia is mainly produced through the distillation of animal waste products as well as some vegetable wastes that are rich with nitrogen. It can be obtained naturally from the environment and through the process of Haber-Bosch.

Updated on: 14-Apr-2023


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