Ammonia Solution

Ammonia Solution

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Ammonia Solution

Strong ammonia solution occurs as a clear, colorless liquid having an exceedingly pungent, characteristic odor. The PhEur 6.0 states that concentrated ammonia solution contains not less than 25.0% and not more than 30.0% w/w of ammonia (NH3). The USP32– NF27 states that strong ammonia solution contains not less than 27.0% and not more than 31.0% w/w of ammonia (NH3).

Nonproprietary Names

BP: Strong Ammonia SolutionPhEur: Ammonia Solution, ConcentratedUSP-NF: Strong Ammonia Solution


Ammoniaca; ammoniacum; ammoniae solution concentrata; aqua ammonia; concentrated ammonia solution; spirit of hartshorn; stronger ammonia water.

Chemical Name and CAS Registry Number: Ammonia [7664-41-7]
Empirical Formula and Molecular Weight: NH3 17.03

Functional Category

Alkalizing agent.

Applications in Pharmaceutical Formulation or Technology

Ammonia solution is typically not used undiluted in pharmaceutical applications. Generally, it is used as a buffering agent or to adjust the pH of solutions. Most commonly, ammonia solution (the concentrated form) is used to produce more dilute ammonia solutions. Therapeutically, dilute ammonia solution is used as a reflex stimulant in ‘smelling salts’, as a rubefacient, and as a counterirritant to neutralize insect bites or stings.

Typical Properties

Solubility Miscible with ethanol (95%) and water.Specific gravity 0.892–0.910

Method of Manufacture

Ammonia is obtained commercially chiefly by synthesis from its constituent elements, nitrogen and hydrogen, which are combined under high pressure and temperature in the presence of a catalyst. Ammonia solution is produced by dissolving ammonia gas in water.

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