Ammonium carbonate

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Ammonium carbonate
Ammonium carbonate.jpg
IUPAC name
Ammonium carbonate
Other names
Ammonia sesquicarbonate
Baker's ammonia
Diammonium carbonate
Sal volatile
Salt of hartshorn
Jmol-3D images Image
Molar mass 96.09 g/mol
Appearance White solid
Odor Strong ammonia
Density 1.50 g/cm3
Melting point 58 °C (136 °F; 331 K) (decomposes)
Boiling point Decomposes
55.8 g/ml (0 °C)
100 g/ml (20 °C)
Decomposes (58 °C)
Solubility Insoluble in benzene, hexane
Safety data sheet ScienceCompany
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Related compounds
Ammonium bicarbonate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Ammonium carbonate is a compound with the chemical formula (NH4)2CO3.



Ammonium carbonate decomposes when heated above 58 °C to ammonia, carbon dioxide and water vapor:

(NH4)2CO3 → 2 NH3 + H2O + CO3

Reaction with acids gives ammonium salt of said acid and releases carbon dioxide:

(NH4)2CO3 + 2 HNO3 → 2 NH4NO3 + H2O + CO2


Ammonium carbonate is a white solid, with a strong odor of ammonia, soluble in water. It decomposes in hot water (>58 °C) releasing ammonia and carbon dioxide. It has a density of 1.50 g/cm3.


Ammonium carbonate is available as baker's ammonia in some food stores, though most will sell only ammonium bicarbonate.

It can also be purchased online. ScienceCompany will sell a 8 oz. (227 g) bottle at 9.95 $.


Ammonium carbonate can be prepared by bubbling ammonia through an aqueous solution of ammonium bicarbonate.

NH4HCO3 + NH3 → (NH4)2CO3


  • Make ammonium salts
  • Make ammonium carbamate
  • Make ammonium bicarbonate



Ammonium carbonate gives off ammonia fumes, which are irritating and toxic if they build up in a closed environment. During hot summers, the decomposition is rapid.


Ammonium carbonate is best stored in closed containers and kept in cold places. To limit the ammonia gas released, you can store the carbonate in a resealable bag, which in turn can be placed in a container. Do not seal it completely, as ammonia pressure will slowly build up inside the bottle, and you will need to release it periodically.


Ammonium bicarbonate can be neutralized with an acid and poured down the drain, or just poured down the drain, as it poses no danger to the environment.

Can also be simply poured in the ground, as it's a good (albeit less effective) nitrogen source for plants.


Relevant Sciencemadness threads