Ammonia solution

Fact about Ammonia solution

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Ammonia solution

Ammonia solution, also known as ammonia water, ammonium hydroxide, ammoniacal liquor, ammonia liquor, aqua ammonia, aqueous ammonia, or (inaccurately) ammonia, is a solution of ammonia in water. It can be denoted by the symbols NH3(aq) . Although the name ammonium hydroxide suggests an alkali with composition [NH4+][OH−], it is actually impossible to isolate samples of NH4OH. The ions NH4+ and OH− do not account for a significant fraction of the total amount of ammonia except in extremely dilute solutions

Basicity of ammonia in water

In aqueous solution, ammonia deprotonates a small fraction of the water to give ammonium and hydroxide according to the following equilibrium

NH3 + H2O ⇌ NH4+ + OH

Saturated solutions

Like other gases, ammonia exhibits decreasing solubility in solvent liquids as the temperature of the solvent increases. Ammonia solutions decrease in density as the concentration of dissolved ammonia increases. At 15.6 °C (60.1 °F), the density of a saturated solution is 0.88 g/ml and contains 35.6% ammonia by mass , 308 grams of ammonia per litre of solution, and has a molarity of approximately 18 mol/L. At higher temperatures, the molarity of the saturated solution decreases and the density increases. Upon warming saturated solutions, ammonia gas is released


In contrast to anhydrous ammonia , aqueous ammonia finds few non-niche uses outside of cleaning agents

Household cleaner

Diluted (1–3%) ammonia is also an ingredient of numerous cleaning agents, including many window cleaning formulas. Because aqueous ammonia is a gas dissolved in water, as the water evaporates from a window , the gas evaporates also, leaving the window streak-free

In addition to use as an ingredient in cleansers with other cleansing ingredients, ammonia in water is also sold as a cleaning agent by itself, usually labeled as simply “ammonia”. It may be sold plain , lemon-scented (and typically colored yellow), or pine-scented (green). Commonly available ammonia with soap added is known as cloudy ammonia

Alkyl amine precursor

In industry, aqueous ammonia can be used as a precursor to some alkyl amines, although anhydrous ammonia is usually preferred. Hexamethylenetetramine forms readily from aqueous ammonia and formaldehyde. Ethylenediamine forms from 1,2-dichloroethane and aqueous ammonia

Laboratory use

Aqueous ammonia is used in traditional qualitative inorganic analysis as a complexant and base. Like many amines, it gives a deep blue coloration with copper(II) solutions. Ammonia solution can dissolve silver oxide residues, such as that formed from Tollens’ reagent. It is often found in solutions used to clean gold , silver, and platinum jewelry , but may have adverse effects on porous gem stones like opals and pearls