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Ammonium chloride
CAS number 12125-02-9 Yes check.svgY
ChemSpider 23807
EC number 235-186-4
RTECS number BP4550000
Molecular formula NH4Cl
Molar mass 53.56 g/mol
Appearance White solid
Odor odorless
Density 1.5274 g/cm3
Melting point

338 °C (decomposes)

Solubility in water 29.7 g/100 mL (0 °C)
37.2 g/100 mL (20 °C)
77.3 g/100 mL (100 °C)
Solubility in alcohol 0.6 g/100 mL (19 °C)
Acidity (pKa) 9.245
Refractive index (nD) 1.642
Std enthalpy of
−314.55 kJ/mol[1]
Standard molar
94.85 J K−1 mol−1 [1]
EU Index 017-014-00-8
EU classification Harmful (Xn)
Irritant (Xi)
R-phrases R22, R36
S-phrases (S2), S22
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Flash point Non-flammable
LD50 1650 mg/kg, oral (rat)
Related compounds
Other anions Ammonium fluoride
Ammonium bromide
Ammonium iodide
Other cations Sodium chloride
Potassium chloride
Hydroxylamonium chloride
 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) (also Sal Ammoniac, salmiac, nushadir salt, sal armagnac, sal armoniac, salt armoniack) is, in its pure form, a clear white water-soluble crystalline salt of ammonia. The aqueous ammonium chloride solution is mildly acidic. Sal ammoniac is a name of natural, mineralogical form of ammonium chloride. The mineral is especially common on burning coal dumps (formed by condensation of coal-derived gases), but also on some volcanoes.



The substance occurs naturally in volcanic regions, forming on volcanic rocks near fume-releasing vents. The crystals deposit directly from the gaseous state, and tend to be short-lived, as they dissolve easily in water. It is a by-product of the Solvay process used to produce sodium carbonate.[2]

Ammonium chloride is prepared commercially by reacting ammonia (NH3) with hydrogen chloride (HCl). As these chemicals are corrosive, this process has to be performed in vessels lined with nonreactive materials (e.g. glass, enamel, lead, or PVC).[2]

NH3 + HCl → NH4Cl

This reaction can occur if poorly sealed bottles of household ammonia (ammonium hydroxide) and hydrochloric acid are stored in close proximity, leading to crystals forming around the opening of one of the bottles (whichever is leaking more slowly).[citation needed]


Ammonium chloride sublimes readily but this process involves dissociation into ammonia and hydrochloric acid followed by reforming of the compound.[2]

NH4Cl → NH3 + HCl

Ammonium chloride may be reacted with a hydroxide base, e.g. sodium hydroxide, to release ammonia gas:

NH4Cl + NaOH → NH3 + NaCl + H2O

If test tubes of ammonia solution and hydrochloric acid are brought close together, a smoke composed of microcrystals of ammonium chloride will slowly rise out of the tube.


Ammonium chloride is sold in blocks at hardware stores for use in cleaning the tip of a soldering iron and can also be included in solder as flux.

Other uses include a feed supplement for cattle, in hair shampoo, in textile printing, in the glue that bonds plywood, as an ingredient in nutritive media for yeast, in cleaning products, and as cough medicine. Its expectorant action is caused by irritative action on the bronchial mucosa. This causes the production of excess respiratory tract fluid which presumably is easier to cough up. It is also used in an oral acid loading test to diagnose distal renal tubular acidosis.

In several countries sal ammoniac is used to spice up liquorice-type dark sweets (Finland's salmiakki, Sweden's lakrisal, Dutch zoute drop and the Danish Dracula Piller are popular examples), and as a flavoring for vodkas.

Ammonium chloride is also used for contact explosives, diuretic and systemic acidifying agent. It is used in the treatment of severe metabolic alkalosis, to maintain the urine at an acid pH in the treatment of some urinary-tract disorders or in forced acid diuresis.

Ammonium salts are an irritant to the gastric mucosa and may induce nausea and vomiting.

Biological applications include using it as a nitrogen source for microbiological growth of organisms.

The zero point of Fahrenheit is determined by placing the thermometer in a mixture of ice, water, and ammonium chloride.

Also used: to luster cotton, as a flux in tin coating and galvanizing, in fertilizers, in safety explosions and in dying and tanning. Used in a ~5% aqueous solution to work on oil wells with clay swelling problems.

See also


  1. ^ a b Solid state data from Ammonium chloride in Linstrom, P.J.; Mallard, W.G. (eds.) NIST Chemistry WebBook, NIST Standard Reference Database Number 69. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg MD. (retrieved 2008-10-22)
  2. ^ a b c Egon Wiberg, Arnold Frederick Holleman (2001) Inorganic Chemistry, Elsevier ISBN 0123526515, p. 614

External links

Simple English

Ammonium chloride

Ammonium chloride is a chemical compound composed of ammonium and chloride ions. It is a colorless crystalline compound. It is used in soldering. It is also used as an electrolyte in the Leclanche cell, a type of primary cell. Ammonium chloride can be deprotonated by strong bases such as sodium hydroxide to produce ammonia gas.

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