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Ammonia - Windows to the Universe
Here are four different ways chemists use to show a molecule of ammonia. In the colored molecule models, nitrogen is blue and hydrogen is white.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original artwork by Randy Russell.

Ammonia - NH3

Ammonia is a kind of gas. Ammonia molecules (NH3) have hydrogen and nitrogen atoms in them.

The air you breathe has a tiny bit of ammonia in it. When plants and animals die and decay, they give off ammonia. Ammonia is part of the Nitrogen Cycle.

Ammonia can sometimes help get pollution out of the air. Sometimes the air has acids like nitric acid and sulfuric acid in it. They make acid rain, which hurts plants and fish. Ammonia combines with these acids to make other chemicals. Those chemicals are solids called particulates, which fall out of the air.

Humans make and use lots of ammonia. We use it to make fertilizer and explosives. It is also in window cleaning products.

Last modified February 8, 2006 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF