Difference Between Ammonia and Ammonium

Difference Between Ammonia and Ammonium

Nitrogen and hydrogen atoms are found in ammonia and ammonium, which are chemical compounds. Both of them have differing nitrogen and hydrogen atom counts. Throughout our daily lives, they are a common sight.

Definition of Ammonia

One nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms make up the molecule of ammonia. It’s a weak basis since it’s unionized. It also emits a noxious odor when you go too close to it. Aqueous ammonia is formed when ammonia is dissolved in water.

As soon as it comes into contact with the air, it transforms into a gas. Aquatic species are also poisoned by ammonia, which is poisonous and dangerous. Pure ammonia is readily available. There are a variety of uses for it. Fertilizers, cleaning products, plastics, and pesticides are just some of the products it is used in to make

Ammonia in fertilizers fixes the lack of nitrogen in the soil, which helps the plants grow. Many medicinal compounds may be synthesized using ammonia, either directly or indirectly. Ammonia gas in high concentrations is exceedingly harmful and is only utilized in large amounts by the manufacturers.

A metabolic waste product in humans, ammonia is also a metabolic input throughout the biosphere. Ammonia is a critical supply of nitrogen for all biological systems. Amino acid synthesis, the building block of proteins, necessitates its presence.

Ammonium is a chemical compound.

One nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms make up ammonium, a charged molecule. It has been charged. The Ammonium cation has the chemical formula NH4+ and is positively charged. Protonation of ammonia results in the production of ammonia.

Soak ammonia in water to make Ammonium cation, which may be used to make fertilizer. It also lacks a distinct scent to identify it. Ammonium, in contrast to ammonia, has no negative effects on aquatic life.

Ammonium is a cation, and cations cannot exist in the absence of other cations. A wide variety of salts containing ammonium cation include ammonium carbonate, ammonium chloride, and ammonium nitrate, for example. Ammonium salts dissolve almost completely in water.

Ammonium is a potentially harmful nitrogen source for plants, hence it is not generally recommended as a plant nitrogen source. When it comes to fertilizers and explosives, it is commonly employed. It is also utilized in water filters and as a food preservative. It is a rocket propellant used in rockets.

Ammonium cations are expelled by mammals as waste products. Fish excrete ammonium into the sea, but sharks, mammals and amphibians convert it to urea, which is less hazardous, so that it may be stored more effectively and subsequently expelled out of the body more rapidly.

Ammonia and Ammonium are two distinct chemical entities.

Difference Between Ammonia and Ammonium

Because Ammonia is made up of just one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms, whereas Ammonium is made up of only one nitrogen and four hydrogen, the two substances are quite different from each other.

Ammonia, on the other hand, is not ionized, while Ammonium is. Another significant physical difference between them is their scent. Ammonia emits a noxious odor, but Ammonium emits no odor at all when you come into contact with it.

Ammonium salt solution must be treated with a strong base in order to get ammonia. Adding water to ammonia results in some of the ammonia being converted into the compound Ammonium. Using ammonia gas in high volumes may be exceedingly dangerous.

Because it is an ion and forms an octate with other charged atoms, it is impossible to get pure ammonium. Pure ammonia, on the other hand, may be obtained in plenty.


One nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms compose ammonia, whereas four hydrogen atoms compose ammonium. In comparison, Ammonium does not emit any scent at all, but Ammonia does.

In contrast, Ammonium is neither poisonous or hazardous to aquatic life, but Ammonia is. Unlike Ammonium, which is ionized, Ammonia is a weak base that cannot be ionized at all.

Ammonia and ammonium are expelled as waste by mammals and aquatic creatures. For example, Ammonia and Ammonium are used to make fertilizers, cleaning agents, polymers, insecticides, and explosives. Ammonium is also used to make fertilizers and rocket propellant. In contrast, pure ammonia may be discovered, while pure ammonium is not.