Ammonium Hydroxide is a solution of Ammonia in water. It has a chemical formula of NH4OH(aq). Ammonium Hydroxide is sometimes known as Ammonia Water, Ammonia Liquor, Aqua Ammonia, Ammonical Liquor or just as Ammonia.
Ammonium Hydroxide is classified as Corrosive and may cause serious burns, so full protective clothing (PPE) should always be worn when handling Ammonium Hydroxide. Concentrated solutions of Ammonium Hydroxide are classified as very Harmful to the eyes and may cause permanent eye damage resulting in blindness. For this reason, approved safety glasses or safety goggles should be worn when handling the product. Even dilute concentrations of Ammonium Hydroxide can be irritating to the eyes and may cause serious long-term damage so full eye protection must always be worn when handling or working with this material.
Concentrated solutions of Ammonium Hydroxide can release dangerous vapours of Ammonia into the air, which can in turn present significant hazards if inhaled. Therefore, Ammonium Hydroxide should always be handled in a well-ventilated area, with fume extraction or breathing apparatus as appropriate.
Concentrations of Ammonium Hydroxide greater than 25% are classified as very Toxic to aquatic organisms. Any unused or unwanted material should be disposed in an environmentally appropriate manner.
Ammonium Hydroxide or Ammonia is used as an ingredient in many cleaning products such as window cleaners. Ammonia can also be used by itself for cleaning purposes and its pungent smell is sometimes masked with a fragrance, for example a pine or lemon scent.
Industry uses of Ammonium Hydroxide include its use as a precursor to Alkyl Amines. The furniture manufacturing industry used to use Ammonium Hydroxide to stain or darken wood containing Tannic Acid. The combination of Ammonium Hydroxide with Tannic Acid creates a brown stain that is regularly used by furniture makers as a wood enhancer.
Ammonium Hydroxide is sometimes used in the meat-packing industry. Some processing plants treat their beef with a pH-based enhancement which results in Ammonium Hydroxide being present in the finished product.
In the laboratory, Ammonium Hydroxide is used in traditional inorganic analysis and gives a deep blue colour in the presence of Copper (II) solutions. When mixed with a dilute solution of Hydrogen Peroxide in the presence of metal, the Peroxide will rapidly decompose.
Always read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) provided by your Ammonium Hydroxide supplier before working with this material.