# Is ammonium hydroxide the same as concentrated ammonia?

Jun 5, 2016

You mean $N {H}_{4} O H$. And yes this is the same as concentrated ammonia.

#### Explanation:

Ammonia, $N {H}_{3}$, is a water like gas, that has substantial solubility in water. Once dissolved in water, it undergoes an acid base equilibrium to some extent:

$N {H}_{3} \left(a q\right) + {H}_{2} O r i g h t \le f t h a r p \infty n s N {H}_{4}^{+} + H {O}^{-}$

The equilibrium lies strongly to the left; that is most of the ammonia, while still a water solvate, is the free base.

When we buy concentrated ammonia, I think Fisher sell it as $\text{ammonium hydroxide}$, i.e. $N {H}_{4} O H$; a better representation would be as $N {H}_{3} \cdot {H}_{2} O$.

When we want to use pure ammonia as a solvent, we must buy a cylinder of ammonia gas under pressure. With a dry ice/acetone condenser, the $- 78$ ""^@C temperature condenses the ammonia gas ($\text{boiling point =} - 33.3$ ""^@C), and allows us to perform reactions in this solvent.

So to conclude ammonia gas, a pungent colourless gas, is DISTINCT from aqueous ammonia, a solution of ammonia in water. Ammonia fumes will bring tears to your eyes.

Whoops, it seems that I have already answered this question! C'est la vie.