Properties of Ammonia

Ammonia is a very important compound of nitrogen which has a very wide range of applications in everyday life.

Ammonia is helpful in manufacturing many inorganic compounds.

Hence, it is important to study its physical and chemical properties.

Let us have a look at the physical properties of ammonia.

Ammonia is of pyramidal shape with three bond pairs and one lone pair.

It is a colourless gas with a pungent (foul) smell. It causes tears in our eyes.

This gas in the anhydrous form is lighter than air and can rise up.

Another property of ammonia is its solubility in water.

This is possible because ammonia can form hydrogen bond with water.

Another property of ammonia is its high melting and boiling points.

This can be accounted for by stronger intermolecular hydrogen bonding.

Now on cooling under pressure, it liquefies into colourless liquid.

This liquid ammonia can be frozen into white snowy crystals.

Now let us learn some important chemical properties of ammonia.

Ammonia is a stable compound and doesn’t decompose easily.

But,if electric spark is passed over it, and are formed.

Also, ammonia is neither combustible nor a supporter of combustion.

But, a jet of ammonia can be burnt in an atmosphere of oxygen.

The nitrogen atom in ammonia molecule has a lone pair of electrons which has the tendency to donate to electron deficient compounds.

It gets attached to many transition metal cations by coordinate bond resulting in the formation of complex ions.

Moving on, let us look at how ammonia behaves in the presence of halogens.

Both chlorine and bromine react with ammonia to oxidise into nitrogen along with the formation of corresponding ammonium slats.

But when the halogen is taken in excess, we get nitrogen trihalides along with hydrogen halides.


Ammonia is a very important compound of nitrogen with many wide applications in everyday life.

It is used in preparation of many compounds like nitric acid. It is a colourless and pungent gas.

It doesn’t support combustion. Liquid nitrogen is used as a refrigerant.

It shows different reaction tendencies towards halogens based on there amount participating in the reaction.

Because of the presence of lone pair of electrons,it acts as a good lewis base.