Ammonia solution is a liquid solution of ammonia salts and water, and it has many uses across a range of industries.
Ammonia solution is commonly called ammonia, but this is a misnomer. While ammonia solution is a mixture of ammonia salts and water, ammonia is a compound of hydrogen and nitrogen, and it’s a gas.
Common Uses of Ammonia Solution
Ammonia solutions have a variety of uses across a range of industries, including for:
- Cleaning, bleaching and deodorising
- Lab analysis
- Chemical manufacturing, often to produce other raw materials
- Etching aluminium
- Hydrolysis of oils and fats
- Fertilising plants in agriculture
Let’s look at some uses of ammonia solution in more detail.
Use of Ammonia Solution as a Fertiliser
Over 80% of all ammonia produced is used in agriculture as a nitrogen source for crops, and is used in either pressurised liquid or solution form. Nitrogen is essential for photosynthesis (the process through which plants convert light energy into chemical energy). Using ammonia promotes crop growth and encourages fruit and seed production, enabling farmers to produce more and increase their yield.
In solution rather than liquid pressure form, ammonia doesn’t need to be injected as far into the soil which makes it easier and safer to apply.
However, it would be unwise to use ammonia solution in your garden as it will do more harm than good. That’s because the solution is toxic to plants and could damage or kill them.
Using Ammonia Solution as a Cleaner
Ammonia solution can be used as a general purpose cleaner in the home. It’s particularly effective for cleaning glass as it leaves no streaks. It can also be used to clean jewellery, tiled floors, and to remove stains from carpets.
However, even at low concentrations, ammonia solution can irritate the respiratory tract and skin, even though domestic ammonia solutions usually range from 5 to 10% concentration. That means that using and storing the products safely is essential.
Ammonia Solution in Fermentation
Ammonia solution is used in industrial bacterial fermentation as a source of nitrogen for microorganisms and to adjust pH levels during the fermentation process. Solutions are used in concentrations between 16 to 25% ammonia to water.
Additionally, ammonia can be used during the fermentation of beer. Not in the product itself, but to cool the fermenter by evaporating ammonia within the jackets that cover the tanks. This is normally only done in larger breweries where it is more energy efficient.
Ammonia Solution as an Antimicrobial
Ammonia is a highly effective antimicrobial, killing over 99.9% of bacteria found in food. For example, ammonia is used to reduce microbial contamination of beef, as it kills the E. coli bacteria.
While this may sound dangerous or worrying, the level of ammonia found in food doesn’t reach toxic levels.
At ReAgent, the most popular ammonia solution is ammonia solution Tech 0.88 SG (specific gravity). We also sell AR 0.89 and 0.91 SG, as well as ammonia solution LRG 0.89. If you would like to speak to someone about your ammonia solution needs, please contact our team.
The blog on chemicals.co.uk and everything published on it is provided as an information resource only. The blog, its authors and affiliates accept no responsibility for any accident, injury or damage caused in part or directly from following the information provided on this website. We do not recommend using any chemical without first consulting the Material Safety Data Sheet which can be obtained from the manufacturer and following the safety advice and precautions on the product label. If you are in any doubt about health and safety issues please consult the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).