Ammonia and Nitric Acid
Ammonia and nitric acid from ammonium nitrate.

Work Log

15 Jul 2019

Attempted the synthesis. I won’t be doing this again. Adding the sulfuric acid results in a lot of decomposition. The ammonia reaction didn’t go to completion because there wasn’t enough water. Better to pay the extra money and buy the nitrate and ammonium salts separately.

14 Jul 2019

\[\begin{equation} NH_{4}NO_{3} + NaOH \rightarrow NaNO_{3} + NH_{3} + 2H_{2}O \\ (NH_{3} + 2H_{2}O) + 2.15H_{2}O \rightarrow NH_{4}OH + 3.15H_{2}O \\ NaNO_{3} + \tfrac{1}{2} H_{2}SO_{4} \rightarrow \tfrac{1}{2} Na_{2}SO_{4} + HNO_{3} \end{equation}\]

Starting from 180g ammonium nitrate (the contents of two ice packs) in 500mL flask:

  • add 130.52g sodium hydroxide
  • heat until all water has been removed; bubble the effluent through 90g distilled water
  • add 70ml conc. sulfuric acid (slight excess)
  • distill nitric acid at 83°C
  • yields: 38g ammonia as 128g (142ml) 30% \(NH_{4}OH\) (80g \(NH_{4}OH\) ); 70g (46ml) nitric acid

\(NaOH\) is probably the monohydrate form. Would that be enough water to dry mix the ingredients and distill the ammonia?