Is NH3 Acid or Base: Check about Ammonia

Is NH3 Acid or Base

Ammonia or NH3 is one of the interesting compounds to study about. It has a pungent smell and a colorless, non-flammable gas. It is made up of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms. The distribution of electrons in Ammonia is asymmetric, which is why it is also a polar molecule. It has a trigonal bipyramidal molecular geometry and one of the known components in agriculture as it is widely used as a fertilizer. Ammonia is also used in manufacturing dyes, pesticides, and other such chemicals.

It is vital to know whether this molecule is a base or acid to understand its chemical properties further. Generally, a molecule is classified as a base or acid by looking at its pH. Ammonia is different from other molecules, and hence one-word answer for this question wouldn’t suffice. Keep reading this blog post to find out if NH3 is an acid or base. 

Is NH3 acidic or basic?

Ammonia has a pH 11, which makes it a weak base. Generally, the compounds having a pH between 7 to 14 is base. Here although Ammonia is a weak base, it is amphoteric as it can act as an acid as well as a base depending upon the conditions in which the experiments are conducted. 

Ammonia can act as a weak base under a suitable condition and accepts H+, which results in forming NH4+, a conjugate acid. Whereas under certain conditions, NH3 can act as a weak acid and donate one H+ that forms its conjugate base NH2+. According to Bronsted-Lowry theory, any compound that accepts a proton is considered as Bronsted-Lowry base. Here as Ammonia has a lone pair of electrons and accepts a proton, it is considered as a Bronsted-Lowry Base.

So although NH3 is technically a weak base, it can act as a base and acid depending upon the situations and the molecules it is reacting with.


About Priyanka

To read, write and know something new everyday is the only way I see my day ! Well that rhymed. Hey folks, this is me, Priyanka, writer at Geometry of Molecules where I want to make Chemistry easy to learn and quick to under. Having a MSc degree helps me explain these concepts better. I write all the blogs after thorough research, analysis and review of the topics. And if not writing you will find me reading a book in some cozy cafe !

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