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Ammonium hydroxide, also known as ammonia water, ammonia solution, ammoniacal liquor, ammonia liquor, aqua ammonia, aqueous ammonia, or (inaccurately) ammonia, is a solution of ammonia in water.
Ammonium hydroxide, also called Aqua Ammonia, solution of ammonia gas in water, a common commercial form of ammonia. It is a colorless liquid with a strong characteristic odor. In concentrated form, ammonium hydroxide can cause burns on contact with the skin; ordinary household ammonia, used as a cleanser, is dilute ammonium hydroxide.
How Ammonium Hydroxide Is Used In Homes And Laboratories In The United States
High quality ammonium hydroxide is used in America as a cleaning agent and sanitizer in very many household and industrial cleaners. Ammonium hydroxide is also used in the manufacture of products such rayon, fertilizer, plastic, rayon and rubber. Aqueous ammonia is corrosive to aluminum alloys, copper, copper alloys, and galvanized surfaces.
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. Aqueous solutions of ammonia hydroxide are used in multiple pharmaceutical processes as a mild alkalizer.
The major hazards encountered in the use and handling of ammonium hydroxide stem from its toxicologic properties. Toxic by all routes (ie, inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact), exposure to this colorless, intensely pungent-smelling liquid may occur from its use in fertilizers, dyes, explosives, plastics, cleansing agents, fibers, and resins. Effects from exposure may include extreme irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes, contact burns to the skin and eyes, and life-threatening pulmonary edema. In activities and situations where over-exposure is possible, wear a self-contained breathing apparatus, and protective clothing (including full face protection).
If contact should occur, immediately flush affected skin or eyes with running water for at least 15 minutes, and remove contaminated clothing and shoes at the site. While ammonium hydroxide does not ignite easily, it can burn with the production of irritating or poisonous gases.
Fires involving ammonium hydroxide may be extinguished with dry chemical, CO2, Halon, water spray, fog, or standard foam. Ammonium hydroxide may be shipped via air, rail, road, and water, in containers bearing warning labels that differ depending upon the density, specific gravity, and percent composition of the solution being shipped. Consult the regulatory requirements of the US Department of Transportation before shipping.
Ammonium hydroxide should be stored in cool, well-ventilated areas, in strong glass, plastic, or rubber stoppered bottles, away from heavy metals, acids, and combustibles (eg, wood, paper, oil). For small spills of ammonium hydroxide, first isolate the spill area, then take up with sand or other noncombustible absorbent and place into a container for later disposal. Large spills should be diked far ahead of the spill, taking care to stay out of low areas. Before implementing land disposal of waste ammonium hydroxide, consult with environmental regulatory agencies for guidance.