Ammonia Research Paper

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Ammonia is a compound composed of nitrogen and hydrogen, having the formula NH3. The ammonia molecule is formed by sp3 orbitals as it has a tetrahedral geometry and a trigonal pyramidal shape. Ammonia has an experimentally determined bond angle of 106.7°, and an a bond length of 101.7 pm. The nitrogen atom in the molecule has a lone electron pair, which gives the molecule a dipole moment and polarity. Ammonia’s lone electron pair makes NH3 a base, a proton acceptor, and gives it the ability to readily form bonds. In liquid and solid states, ammonia associates through hydrogen bonds (“Ammonia” Wikipedia). In the gaseous phase, ammonia is a colorless gas with a very pungent, irritating odor. Ammonia exhibits the same characteristics in the …show more content…
Since ammonia is a weak base, it combines with acids to form salts. Liquid ammonia is commonly reacted with hydrogen chloride to form a cloud of ammonium chloride. Salts produced by the reacting ammonia with acids or known as ammonium salts and contain the ammonium ion, NH4+. NH3 also ionizes to a small extent with metal oxides and the halogens. Like water, ammonia undergoes molecular autoionisation to form its acid and base components, decomposing to NH4+ and NH2- (“CHEM-GUIDE”). Ammonia is combustible in air, producing nitrogen gas and water. The combustion of ammonia is exothermic and usually needs some sort of catalyst to occur. While ammonia is highly stable, it can be decomposed into nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas by passing it over a heated metallic catalyst (“Ammonia” …show more content…
For example, because of its vaporization properties, ammonia is a useful refrigerant. Anhydrous ammonia is widely used in industrial refrigeration applications because of its low cost and energy efficiency. Methods are being pursued to combat ammonia’s toxicity, which restrict its small-scale refrigeration use. Ammonia has even been proposed as an alternative to fossil fuels for internal combustion engines. Ammonia has a calorific value that is about half that of diesel, allowing it to potentially be used as fuel. However, there are currently many barriers preventing this from being implemented. Ammonia cannot easily be used in existing Otto cycle engines because of its low octane rating, meaning new pistons and engines would have to be made to work exclusively with ammonia. Also, a fuel tank storing ammonia would have to be pressurized accordingly to keep ammonia in the liquid phase (“Ammonia”

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