Why does solid (nh4) 2co3 smell like ammonia?
December 30, 2020
Ammonium carbonate is a salt of a weak base and a weak acid, which means it is susceptible to hydrolysis. Under the action of water contained in the air, partial hydrolysis of ammonium carbonate occurs according to the reaction:
(NH4) 2CO3 + H2O = 2NH4OH + CO2
The resulting ammonium hydroxide is also not a stable compound and decomposes with the release of ammonia, which gives the salt its characteristic odor.
NH4OH = NH3 + H2O
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