Ammonium Acetate Formula- It is a salt that has interesting chemical properties and due to this reason, the pharmaceutical industry uses it as an intermediary and raw material in various processes. NH4OAc (Ammonium acetate) is a salt that forms from the reaction of ammonia and acetic acid. Also, it is useful for applications that require buffer solutions. The Henry reactions are the most common reactions that use ammonium acetate. In an aqueous solution, it is a chemical compound that we know by the name spirit of Mindererus or ammonium acetate, which is a white, hygroscopic solid we can derive from the reaction of ammonia and acetic acid.
Ammonium Acetate Formula and Structure
Its chemical formula is NH4CH2CO2 or CH2COONH4. The molecular formula of ammonium acetate is C2H7NO2and its molar mass is 77.08 g/mol-1. Also, it is a slat of acetate ion COO-1(from acetic acid dissociation in water) and ammonium ion NH4+(from ammonia dissociation in water).
Ammonium acetate is volatile at low pressure because it has been used to replace cell buffers with non-volatile salts that help in the preparation of chemical samples. Its common representation of organic molecule’s chemical structure can be written as below:
Ammonium Acetate Occurrence
In nature, ammonium acetate is not present in a free compound state. But, ammonium and acetate ions are present in many biochemical processes.
Ammonium Acetate Preparation
Just like other acetates, we can also synthesize ammonium acetate in a similar way to other acetates that is through neutralization of acetic acid. Furthermore, this synthesis uses acetic acid that we neutralize by adding ammonium carbonate. Besides, in the chemical industries, this method uses glacial acetic acid that is saturated with ammonia:
2CH3COOH + (NH4)2CO3→ 2CH3COONH4+ H2CO3
H2CO3→ CO2+ H2O
CH3COOH + NH3→ CH3COONH4
Ammonium Acetate Physical Properties
It is a hygroscopic white solid with a slightly acidic odor. Furthermore, its melting point is 113oC. Also, it is highly soluble in water and its density in this liquid is 1.17 g/mL-1.
Ammonium Acetate Chemical Properties
It is a slat of a weak acid (acetic acid) and a weak base (ammonia). We use this salt with acetic acid to prepare a buffer solution to regulate its pH. Nevertheless, its use as a buffering agent is not very extensive because ammonium acetate can be volatile in low pressures.
Ammonium Acetate Uses
We use it as a raw material in the synthesis of pesticides, herbicides, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Moreover, it is the precursor in the acetamide synthesis (a chemical compound that we use to produce plasticizers):
CH3COONH4→ CH3C(O)NH2+ H2O
In industries, they use it to acidify textiles and hair and some countries use it as a food acidity regulator. With acetic acid, it is a buffering agent. In organic chemistry, ammonium acetate found its use as a catalyst, in reactions such as Knoevenagel condensations. We can use it as a fertilizer and in the synthesis of explosives.
It is volatile at low pressure and because of this, industries and scientists have used it to replace cell buffers with non-volatile salts in preparing samples for mass spectrometry. Besides, it is popular as a buffer for mobile phases for HPLC and ELSD detection for this reason. Moreover, other salts that they have used for this include ammonium formate.
Ammonium Acetate Health and Safety Hazards
Majorly, ammonium acetate causes irritation in the mouth, eyes, skin, and nose. Furthermore, it is highly dangerous by ingestion and can cause tissue necrosis. It can also destroy the cell membranes, penetrate in organisms, and saponify the skin. When heated it produces toxic fumes that can damage the lungs. In a few seconds, it can decompose sodium hypochlorite.
Solved Examples on Ammonium Acetate Formula
Question: Show how ammonium acetate is a precursor of acetamide?
Solution: The reaction is as below:
NH4CH3CO2 → CH3C(O)NH2 + H2O