Ammonium Acetate: Properties and Uses

Ammonium Acetate

Ammonium acetate is an inorganic chemical compound. Its IUPAC name is ammonium ethanoate. When in aqueous solution, the substance is often called spirit of Mindererus. Ammonium acetate CAS number is 631-61-8, its chemical formula can be written in two ways: C2H7NO2 and NH4CH3CO2.

The compound itself is a white solid with orthorhombic crystal structure and highly hygroscopic. It dissolves easily in cold water and decomposes in hot. Besides, ammonium acetate is soluble in alcohol, acetone, sulfur dioxide, and liquid ammonia. Here are some more characteristics of the substance:

  • density: 1.17 g/cm3;
  • molar mass: 77.08 g·mol−1;
  • melting point: 113 °C;
  • flash point: 136 °C.

The chemical is considered hazardous, as it irritates human tissues.

Production and Uses

There are two methods of ammonium acetate production. According to the first one, acetic acid is neutralized with ammonium carbonate. The second includes saturation of glacial acetic acid with ammonia.

Ammonium acetate uses are not very diverse. It usually serves as basic catalyst for Henry reactions. The substance is also used to create a buffer solution, since it is the salt of a weak acid. It is an important reagent in different chemical reactions. In food industry, the compound is applied to control the acidity and alkalinity of foods.

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