Chemistry Formulas

Ammonium Bicarbonate Formula

The ammonium bicarbonate is an inorganic compound with a formula i.e. (NH4)HCO3 that is NH5CO3 after simplification. This compound has multiple names that reflect its long history. Chemically it is the bicarbonate salt of ammonium ion. It is a solid that has no colour and it degrades to carbon dioxide, ammonia, and water. Given below is the Ammonium Bicarbonate Formula:

ammonium bicarbonate formula

Ammonium Bicarbonate Formula

Ammonium bicarbonate is also commonly known as ammonium hydrogen carbonate and it is a mildly basic inorganic compound.

Formula and Structure

The chemical formula of the ammonium bicarbonate is NH4HCO3. The molecular formula of the ammonium bicarbonate is CH5NO3 and it has a molar mass of 79.056 g/mol. Its chemical structure comprises of the ammonium cation NH4+ and the bicarbonate anion HCO3-.


Ammonium bicarbonate is present in a small quantity in nitrogenous organic matter, along with multiple other ammonium salts.


The Ammonium bicarbonate is made by combining two things that are carbon dioxide and the ammonia:

CO2 + NH3 + H2O → (NH4)HCO3

Since ammonium bicarbonate is unstable thermally, the reaction solution is kept under the cold temperature. Thus, this results in allowing the precipitation of the product as the white solid. About 100,000 tons were produced in a similar way in the year 1997.

Ammonia gas sent to an aqueous solution of sesquicarbonate that is a 2:1:1 mixture of (NH4)HCO3, (NH4)2CO3, and H2O transforms it into a normal ammonium carbonate ((NH4)2CO3), which can be obtained in the crystalline condition from a solution created at about 30 °C of temperature. This compound on exposure to air provides off ammonia and reverts it to the ammonium bicarbonate.


They make Ammonium bicarbonate by the process of passing the carbon dioxide gas into aqueous ammonia until the ammonium bicarbonate crystals are complete and are then separates from the solution by the method of filtration or centrifugation. To prevent the decomposition of the product, the reaction is takes place at a cold temperature.

CO2 + NH3 + H2O → NH4HCO3

Physical Properties

Ammonium bicarbonate exists as a white crystalline solid that carries a density of 1.59 g/mL and a melting point of 41.9 °C. It has a strong aroma of ammonia, and it is highly soluble in water.

Chemical Properties

It dissolves with the water to make a mildly alkaline solution. Moreover, it is insoluble in many organic solvents. While it is stable at room temperature that is near about 25 °C, it decomposes at a temperature above 36 °C to make ammonia, carbon dioxide, and water in an endothermic reaction. Further, it absorbs the energy for the reaction from the surroundings nearby.

NH4HCO3 → NH3 + CO2 + H2O

It reacts with acids to form carbon dioxide and reacts with the bases to produce ammonia.


Ammonium bicarbonate comes in use as baking powder in some food or cooking processing applications. Further, we use it in the cough syrups also and as an antacid. Further, we also use it as a fertilizer, pH buffer, and reagent in the chemical laboratories. In the industries, we use it in the manufacturing of dyes, pharmaceuticals, catalysts, ceramics, plastics, and various other products.

It is also useful for buffering solutions to make them alkaline during the chemical purification, just like the high-performance liquid chromatography. This allows recovery of the compound of interest by freeze-drying.

Health Effects/Safety Hazards

In low concentrations, it is not hazardous. Further, its common and main health hazard is its decomposition reaction providing pungent ammonia gas that is a serious irritant. Similarly, inhalation of the ammonium bicarbonate can result in irritation in the eyes, skin, nose and entire system of respiration and cause major coughing and difficulty in the process of breathing.

Solved Examples on Ammonium Bicarbonate Formula

Question: How to measure the concentration of the bicarbonate, when we are purging the solvent (water) with the normal air or CO2 gas?

Solution: We have several options depending on how accurate your result has to be.

If you know the initial pH and you’re using pure water you can obtain a good estimate by measuring the pH change combined with modelling of your system, for example with phreeqc. Alternatively, you can sample your solution, add a base to the sample and then titrate between both pK values of H2CO3. Other options are to add Ba and also make your samples alkaline. Then you can weigh the BaCO3 after drying.

Share with friends

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
No thanks.