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    Oct. 14, 2014

Ammonia or azane is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is also a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals and is used in many commercial cleaning products. Although in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous.

The global industrial production of ammonia for 2012 was anticipated to be 198,000,000 tonnes (195,000,000 long tons; 218,000,000 short tons),10 a 35% increase over the estimated 2006 global output of 146,500,000 tonnes (144,200,000 long tons; 161,500,000 short tons).11

NH3 boils at −33.34 °C (−28.012 °F) at a pressure of one atmosphere, so the liquid must be stored under pressure or at low temperature. Household ammonia or ammonium hydroxide is a solution of NH3 in water. The concentration of such solutions is measured in units of the Baumé scale (density), with 26 degrees baumé (about 30% (by weight) ammonia at 15.5 °C or 59.9 °F) being the typical high-concentration commercial product.

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