# What are the oxidiation states of the individual elements that compose ammonium carbonate, (NH_4)_2CO_3(s)?

Jun 10, 2017

Of ${\left(N {H}_{4}\right)}_{2} C {O}_{3} \left(s\right)$?

#### Explanation:

In terms of oxidation number we has...........

${\left(\stackrel{- I I I}{N} {\stackrel{+ I}{H}}_{4}\right)}_{2} \stackrel{+ I V}{C} {\stackrel{- I I}{O}}_{3} \left(s\right)$.

The weighted sum of the oxidation numbers is equal to the charge on the species, which is NEUTRAL for a salt.

The salt is unstable and decomposes (slowly) to give ammonia and ammonium bicarbonate:

${\left(N {H}_{4}\right)}_{2} C {O}_{3} \left(s\right) \rightarrow N {H}_{3} \uparrow + N {H}_{4}^{+} H C {O}_{3}^{-}$.

Pungent ammonia gas is what gives it its original name: $\text{smelling salts.}$