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Ammonium Bicarbonate

Ammonium bicarbonate, commonly as baking soda, ammonium hydrogen carbonate, and powdered baking ammonia, is a colorless inorganic compound represented by the chemical formula (NH4)HCO3 or CH5NO3 [1, 2]. In IUPAC nomenclature, it is named azanium hydrogen carbonate [1]. It decomposes readily into water, ammonia, and carbon dioxide [3].

Ammonium Bicarbonate Identification

CAS Number 1066-33-7 [1]
PubChem CID 14013 [1]
ChemSpider ID 13395 [2]
EC Number 213-911-5 [1]
UN Number 3077 [1]
RTECS Number BO8600000 [1]
InChI Key ATRRKUHOCOJYRX-UHFFFAOYSA-N [1]

Ammonium Bicarbonate Formula

Ammonium Bicarbonate Composition and Synthesis

Its preparation involves the reaction of carbon dioxide and ammonia in a cold condition, with ammonium bicarbonate forming as a solid white precipitate. It is represented by the following equation [4]:

NH3 + CO2+ H2O → (NH4)HCO3

It was once commercially produced by dry distillation of organic matters like leather, horn, and hair. Also called ammonium sesquicarbonate, the material also produces ammonium carbonate ((NH4)2CO3) and ammonium carbamate (NH4CO2NH2).

Ammonium Bicarbonate Powder

Properties and Characteristics of Ammonium Bicarbonate

General Properties

Molar Mass/Molecular Weight 79.055 g/mol [1]

Physical Properties

Color and Appearance White or colorless [1]
Odor Faint ammoniacal [8]
Melting Point 41.9 °C, 107.4 °F (decomposes) [1]
Density 1.586 g cm-3 [1]
pH 7.8 [5]
State of matter at room temperature Crystalline solid [1]
Solubility Soluble in water, insoluble in acetone, benzene, methanol, and ethanol [1]
Solubility in Water 17.4 g/100 cc at 20 °C [1]

Ammonium Bicarbonate Lewis Structure with Covalent Bonding

Uses

  • As a leavening agent for baked goods like crackers, cookies, and cream-puff doughs in the food industry [1].
  • Producing ceramics, porous plastics, dyes, and pigments [1].
  • For scale removal in boilers and as a foaming agent for rubber [1]. Removal of gypsum from heat exchangers and processing equipment [1].
  • Added to compost heaps for accelerating the rate of decomposition and using them as fertilizers [1].
  • It is a good buffer (because of its volatile nature) in pharmaceutical applications like lyophilization (freeze-drying) for producing injectable and oral dosage forms [5].
  • Used as a component of human and vet medications [1].

Is It Safe

Accidental ingestion of large amounts of ammonium bicarbonate may be harmful and cause serious damage to the health resulting in diarrhea, systemic poisoning, and increased urine production [6]. Its inhalation can cause respiratory irritation with the body’s response to the irritation causing further lung damage [1, 6]. Its contact with skin is also known to cause irritation [1].

References

  1. Ammonium Bicarbonate – Pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. Ammonium Bicarbonate – Chemspider.com
  3. Ammonium Bicarbonate – Sigmaaldrich.com
  4. Carbon Dioxide React with Ammonium HydroxideChemiday.com
  5. Ammonium bicarbonate (A6141) – Product Information – Sigmaaldrich.com
  6. Ammonium Bicarbonate Material Safety Data Sheet – Datasheets.scbt.com

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