Difference between ammonia and ammonium
Ammonia vs Ammonium:
As two of the most widely used substances during our day to day life, the difference between ammonia and ammonium is well worth knowing. The names of those very substances themselves evoke certain unique odours in our memories, odours such as of fertilizers, nitrogenous wastes, soaps and even explosives. However similar these two names would sound, ammonia and ammonium are two different substances which carry completely different properties from each other.
What is ammonia?
Ammonia is a un-ionized substance which has a weak base and it carries the formula NH3. ammonia when exposed to air and kept at room temperature can be seen as a gas whereas it is seen as a liquid at very low temperatures and high pressures which is also known as anhydrous ammonia which means water-free ammonia. it is uncharged and remains as a molecule by itself. Ammonia is useful to plants in nitrogen fixation. It is also use din producing fertilizers, cleansing products, plastics, pesticides and explosives.
What is ammonium?
Ammonium which carries the formula NH4+ is a positively charged iron which is quite able to exist as free ions in a solution, or as an ionic salt compound forming a lattice structure with ananion such as ammonium chloride. It is ionized and does not usually give out a smell. Ammonium can be found in salts like ammonium chloride, ammonium carbonate and ammonium nitrate and it is used in the production of fertilizers, explosives, rocket propellant and also used as food preservatives and in water filters as well.
What is the difference between ammonium and ammonia?
Ammonia and ammonium are often confused with one another and yet, they are not the same. For instance, ammonia is an uncharged, unionized substance which has a weak base, ammonium is a positively charged, ionized substance. Also, while ammonium carries the formula of NH3, ammonium carries the formula of NH4.
Another noticeable difference between the two is that ammonia gives out a rather pungent smell whereas ammonium does not give out a small at all. Yet they are used in same sorts of products such as fertilizer, explosives, etc which perhaps makes one attribute these smells with both these substances. Yet, at room temperature, ammonia exists as a gas whereas it is seen as a liquid at very low temperatures and high pressures which is also known as anhydrous ammonia. ammonium on the other hand exists as free ions in solution, or as an ionic salt compound forming a lattice struture with ananion such as ammonium chloride.
The chemical equation that drives the relationship between ammonia and ammonium can be stated as NH3 + H2O ↔ NH4+ + OH-. ammonia can be produced by treating a concentrated ammonium salt solution and ammonia becomes ammonium when mixed in water. Also, while ammonium is not considered harmful to aquatic organisms, ammonia is not.