Ammonia

CAS RN: 7664-41-7

Agent Identification

Flask

Agent Identification

  • At room temperature, anhydrous ammonia is a colorless, highly irritating gas with a pungent, suffocating odor. It is lighter than air and flammable, with difficulty, at high concentrations and temperatures. It is easily compressed and forms a clear, colorless liquid under pressure. Ammonia dissolves readily in water to form ammonium hydroxide - an alkaline solution. The concentration of aqueous ammonia solutions for household use is typically 5% to 10% (weight:volume), but solutions for commercial use may be 25% (weight:volume) or more, and are corrosive. Anhydrous ammonia is stored and shipped in pressurized containers, fitted with pressure-relief safety devices, and bears the label "Nonflammable Compressed Gas". Despite not meeting the Department of Transport definition of flammable it should be treated as such.
  • Anhydrous ammonia reacts with moisture in the mucous membranes to produce an alkaline solution (ammonium hydroxide). Exposure to ammonia gas or ammonium hydroxide can result in corrosive injury to the mucous membranes of the eyes, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract and to the skin due to the alkaline pH and the hygroscopic nature of ammonia.
  • Responders should obtain assistance in identifying the chemical(s) from container shapes, placards, labels, shipping papers, and analytical tests. General information on these identification technicques is located in the Emergency Response Guidebook.
  • Devices (examples) - HazCat Industrial Chemical and Methamphetamine Identification Kit (Model KT1220) (solid and liquid), ChomAir Badges (vapor or gas), Safe Air Monitoring System (vapor or gas), Kitagawa Gas Detector Tubes (vapor), Sensidyne Gas Detection Tubes (vapor)
  • A comprehensive source for the selection of chemical identification equipment is the Guide for the Selection of Chemical Detection Equipment for Emergency First Responders, Guide 100-06, January 2007, 3rd Edition published by the Department of Homeland Security.
Find more information on this substance at: PubChem, PubMed