It may sound like a brand-new chemical to you, however, nitrogen trihydride is not.The substance was worshipped by ancient Egyptians as Amon, an ancient Egyptian god.How does nitrogen trihydride work?

In a covalent bond between two non-metals, nitrogen trihydride, also known as ammonia, is formed.One nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms are present in nitrogen trihydride.Also known as alkaline air, volatile alkali or alkaline gas.

Learn about nitrogen trihydride, including its formula, properties, history, uses, and the way it is made.

What Is Nitrogen Trihydride? 


Nitrogen trihydride (NH3), also known as ammonia, has one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms.Because it exists as a covalent bond between non-metals, it is sometimes called volatile alkali or alkaline air.

Nitrogen Trihydride Formula

Nitrogen trihydride is the formula for what?.NH3 is the formula for nitrogen trihydride.

The nitrogen trihydride formula is simple, and it can be made easily from other compounds when replaced with hydrogen atoms with a base or an acid.

Properties of Nitrogen Trihydride (Ammonia)

Among nitrogen trihydride or ammonia's properties are:

Sources of Nitrogen Trihydride (Ammonia)

Plants and animals produce nitrogen trihydride (ammonia) as part of the nitrogen cycle.Ammonium salts and ammonia are also found in rainwater, and ammonium chloride and sulfate are found in volcanic ash.

Additionally, fertile soil and seawater contain ammonium salts.The kidneys secrete ammonia to help counteract the acidity of the body.

As well as on the planets, nitrogen trihydride can be found in the solar system.Those planets are Pluto, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Neptune, and Uranus.

History of Nitrogen Hydride (Ammonia)

Ammonia was first discovered by the ancient Egyptians near volcano cracks; they noted that the material decomposes in warm temperatures into pungent ammonia.Moreover, this substance is used to worship Amun, the Egyptian God.Ammonia is consequently named after Amun.

Ammonium chloride and magnesium oxide first separated gaseous ammonia in 1756 by Joseph Black.

In 1909, German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch succeeded in converting nitrogen into ammonia by creating the Haber-Bosch process.

Nitrogen gas in the air is converted into ammonia by this process.It was Germany that found nitrate source to build explosives in WW1.It took place at about 200 atmospheric pressure (atm) and 400 to 500°C with an iron catalyst (Fe).

After winning the 1918 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Fritz Haber filed a patent for the synthesis of ammonia.Furthermore, he discovered the ammonia formula (NH3), or the nitrogen trihydride formula.Ammonia is produced by combining three hydrogen atoms with one nitrogen atom.

Other Properties of Nitrogen Trihydride’s in Different Forms

Liquid State

With its strong ionizing power, liquid nitrogen trihydride could act as a solvent.This occurrence can occur because of enthalpy changes that are too high.Note:

Because it dissolves most substances, water is the universal solvent.

This table compares the properties of water, ethanol, and ammonia as solvents:

SolventIonic & Polar CompoundsNon-polar Covalent CompoundsAlkali Metals
Ammonia (Hydrogen trihydride)Better solvent than ethanolMost effective solventDissolves many alkalis to produce strong basic solutions
WaterBest solventLeast effectiveMore likely to produce more hydrogen ions in combination with alkalis
EthanolLeast effectiveBetter solvent than waterMay or may not dissolve specific alkalis

Laboratory can use ammonia on this property even without refrigeration.Ammonia in liquid form is also alkaline since it can easily react with water to produce ammonium hydroxide.

Ammonia liquid has a vapor pressure of 120 pounds per square inch at 20°C.The density of 0.880 g/cm3 makes it easy to call a saturated solution of ammonia in water as '.880 ammonia.'

Gaseous Form


Trinitrogen trihydride is not easily combustible.When combined with oxygen, it gives off a yellowish-green flame.If chlorine and ammonia combine, hydrogen chloride and nitrogen are produced.

If chlorine concentrations are high, an extremely explosive substance can result - nitrogen tri chloride (NCl3).Be cautious if you decide to carry out this process.

Caustic alkali, sulfur sticks, or quicklime can be used to detect leaks in industrial ammonia refrigeration systems.Thus, you will smell ammonia's characteristic pungent odor if there is a leak.

Solid Form

Applied to solids, ammonia resembles cubic symmetrical crystals with a lattice structure.

It is easy for water to dissolve ammonia.In addition to forming various compounds, nitrogen trihydride can also react with many chemicals.

In the presence of acidic substances, chemicals can replace hydrogen ions in ammonia to produce ammonium salts.

There are several of these, such as ammonium chloride with hydrogen chloride, ammonium nitrate with nitric acid, and ammonium sulfate with sulfuric acid.

Ammonia and acid are formed during the decomposition of nitrogen trihydride's ammonium salts of weak acids.

A more common form of ammonia is ammonium carbonate ((NH3)2CO3H2O), aka smelling salts or ammonium salts.Additionally, these aromatic spirit of ammonia are white crystalline in appearance.

Radial atoms or metal ions can also replace ammonia's hydrogen atoms to form amides, imines, nitride, and other products.

What does nitrogen trihydride mean?

The chemical formula of NH3 is thus NH3.In addition, nitrogen trihydride is also known as volatile alkali or alkaline air due to its nature as an alkali.Additionally, it forms from a covalent bond between two non-metals (Nitrogen and Hydrogen).

Uses of Ammonia

In agriculture and many other industries, ammonia has various uses in the laboratory and in the field.

Nitrogen trihydride is essential to the production of many products:

1. Excellent Refrigerant

During evaporation, ammonia absorbs all the heat present in the air.Ammonia is thus an ideal refrigerant. .Home refrigerants such as this are rather rare.

2. Chemical Laboratory Solvent

As far as its ability to dissolve substances goes, liquid nitrogen trihydride is second only to water.Ionic and polar compounds can be dissolved better with it than ethanol, but non-polar compounds can be dissolved better with ethanol.The table below summarizes ammonia's dissolving properties

3. Cleaning Solution

Among the many uses of ammonia are:

In some household cleaning solutions, manufacturers dilute ammonia with water and contain ammonium hydroxide as the active cleaning agent.

.You should avoid prolonged inhalation and exposure of the solution since it could cause serious health effects.

Manufacturers have devised stronger solutions such as ammonium hydrate or ammonia water, which contain about 30% ammonium hydroxide (weight/volume) at standard temperature and pressure.To ensure your safety, you might want to opt for this safer product.

4. Fertilizers

Fertilizers use nitrogen trihydride primarily.Ammonia is easy to transport and store as a fertilizer.Potassium nitrate fertilizers also contain a large amount of ammonia.

80% of a plant's growth is the result of nitrogen; however, this element is not readily available since it is a gas in the atmosphere.

Due to this fact, ammonia is used to make chemical nitrogen fertilizers.Farmers cannot produce robust plants without ammonia.An ammonia molecule is produced by reacting nitrogen and hydrogen with the help of a catalyst.No rewrites were found

5. Synthesis of Nitric Acid


Synthesis of nitric acid by the Solvay Process uses large amounts of ammonia or nitrogen trihydride.In addition, nitric acid is an essential laboratory chemical and a key component in mineral fertilizer composition.Business owners use it as fuel in explosives.

6. Vital in Some Oxidation-reduction Reactions

Reducing agents, such as ammonia, act on a system.Ammonia can reduce cupric oxide to copper and is oxidized in the atmosphere to create nitric oxide and water by using a catalyst, such as platinum.Oxygen is also burned by nitrogen trihydride to form gaseous nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O).

7. Synthesis of Organic Compounds

To synthesize organic compounds, such as plastics, drugs, and dyes, scientists use nitrogen trihydride.Fortunately, ammonia's amphoteric properties make this vital use possible.As a result of this property and the ability for reactions to take place, new products can be created.

8. Source of Hydrogen for Acid Fuel Cells

Hydrogen is supplied to acid fuel cells by ammonia.By decomposing ammonia in the presence of a catalyst, hydrogen and nitrogen can be produced for these cells.But this decomposition is only possible at very high temperatures.

9. Fermentation Process

To adjust the pH during fermentation, ammonia solutions of 16% to 25% are used.Microorganisms are fed with nitrogen trihydride.The pH will then remain acidic as a result of this reaction.

10. Antimicrobial Agent or Antiseptic

Research found ammonia could eliminate zoonotic bacteria, thus helping to reduce the microbial contamination of beef products.Therefore, the U.S.government has declared the process to be safe and effective for treating beef products.

The final step involves the use of anhydrous ammonia by many manufacturers in order to reduce microbial contamination (Escherichia coli) in beef products.

Nitrogen Trihydride’s Synthetic Production

Nitrogen trihydride and ammonia can be produced using the following processes.Ammonia is usually made synthetically in factories under controlled conditions:

1. Haber Process

Ammonia is generally produced via the Haber process.

Experts maintain a controlled environment to produce nitrogen trihydride successfully.As a result, this process is preferred by most experts because it is simple and convenient.

2. Combination of Ammonium Salt and a Strong Base

Ammonium salts can be converted to ammonia or nitrogen trihydride by heating them with strong bases.In this reaction, ammonia will be formed as one of the byproducts.

Thus, if you need just a small amount of ammonia, it is possible to produce it in a small chemical laboratory.But we don't recommend it because of safety concerns.

3. Combination of Nitrogen Gas and Calcium Carbide 

In the past, nitrogen trihydride has been synthesized from nitrogen gas and calcium carbide.Calcium cyanamide and carbon have to be formed at high temperatures.

Calcium cyanamide is combined with steam to produce calcium carbonate and ammonia.The best application of this procedure is in mass production, which includes dedicated equipment for completing the steps.

4. Destructive Distillation of Coal

As a destructive distillation by-product, coal generates ammonia.Despite this, this procedure must be carried out safely - just like the others - as accidents, or untoward consequences may happen.

5. Combine Metal Nitride with Water

In order to obtain nitrogen trihydride, let a metal nitride react with water.As nitride dissolves in water, it might be a simple process.The ammonia can then be collected.

Conclusion – Nitrogen Trihydride

When nitrogen and three hydrogen atoms are combined, nitrogen trihydride is created. Ammonia is composed of nitrogen and three hydrogen atoms.Ammonia exists as a covalent bond between two nonmetallic elements.

Alkali or volatile alkali, ammonia can easily combust when a catalyst is present.

As a fertilizer, nitrogen trihydride finds application in a number of industries, including agriculture.Besides its primary use, ammonia can dissociate in water, producing hydrogen and nitrogen, or it can reform back into ammonia as needed.

Become familiar with the uses of ammonia or nitrogen trihydride so that you can get the most out of it every day.