Is NH4Cl an ionic compound

Ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) is a white, water-soluble salt that forms cubic crystals.

As the temperature rises, ammonium chloride increasingly dissociates to form ammonia and hydrogen chloride. At 340 ° C the substance sublimates completely. Ammonium chloride melts at 520 ° C. under pressure (34.4 bar). As a food additive, it bears the number E 510.


Naturally occurring ammonium chloride is considered a mineralAmmonia known and widespread. The name "Salmiak" derives from lat. "sal ammoniacum"(Salt of Ammon, see also the origin of the name of ammonia), since it occurred in ancient times near an Ammon temple in today's Egypt and was confused with Halite (rock salt).

Extraction and presentation

Ammonium chloride can be obtained by neutralizing aqueous ammonia solution with hydrochloric acid or by reacting gaseous ammonia with gaseous hydrogen chloride. It can be purified by recrystallizing it from water.

Ammonium chloride is a by-product of the production of soda by the Solvay process.


Ammonium chloride is readily soluble in water. Aqueous solutions are acidic. The pH of a 1% solution is about 5.5. It is poorly soluble in ethanol and insoluble in acetone and ether.

When ammonium chloride is mixed with strong bases, gaseous ammonia is released.


Ammonium chloride is used today, among other things, for the production of cold mixtures, in dyeing and tannery. It is also used for tinning, galvanizing or soldering, as it has the ability to form volatile chlorides with metal oxides and thus clean the metal surface. It also serves as an expectorant in medicine and is used as an electrolyte in zinc-carbon batteries; also in salmiak liquorice. It is also commonly found in smoke powder (white).


  1. abcdefG BGIA GESTIS substance database: Aug 15, 2007


  • Pradyot Patnaik: Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, New York 2002 ISBN 0-07-049439-8 (English)

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