This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
The real constitution of this complex formula is probably, - two molecules of acid carbonate, and one of carbonate of ammonium.
By heating a mixture of chalk (carbonate of lime) and sal-ammoniac (chloride ammon.), when chloride of calcium and a complex carbonate of ammonia are formed; the latter distils over, and is condensed.
When recent it is seen in colorless, translucent, crystalline masses, of strong characteristic odor and acrid taste, markedly alkaline in reaction, volatile, soluble in water, less so in spirit, and effervescent with acids. When exposed to the air it gives off ammonia and carbonic acid, loses its odor, and crumbles into an opaque mass of bicarbonate of ammonium. In consequence of ready decomposition, the aqueous solution of the ordinary salt will contain both neutral and acid carbonates. The neutral salt has not been isolated in the solid state.
Generally from gas-liquor, by adding hydrochloric acid to neutralization, evaporating the liquid, and purifying the crystals by sublimation.
Occurs in pieces of the hemispherical cakes in which it is sublimed, of translucent fibrous appearance and pungent saline taste - inodorous. Its ordinary form is hard to powder. It is soluble in one part of boiling water and three of cold, its solution being attended by reduction of temperature; also soluble in rectified spirit. Heated with potash, soda, or lime, it evolves ammonia.
Acetate of ammonia, NH1C2H3O2, = 77, dissolved in water, commonly called spirit of Mindererus.
By gradual neutralization of carbonate of ammonia with acetic acid.
When pure and fresh this is a limpid, colorless liquid, without odor and with strong saline taste; but unless carefully kept it soon spoils. With caustic alkalies it evolves ammonia, and with sulphuric acid, acetic vapors.
Citrate of ammonia, 3NH1C6H1O7, = 243, dissolved in water. Preparation. - By neutralizing a solution of citric acid with strong solution of ammonia. It is a colorless liquid of saline taste.
By neutralizing phosphoric acid with ammonia, the latter being in excess.
The crystals, which are transparent when recent, become opaque on exposure, and part with ammonia and water. Soluble in water, insoluble in spirit, gives a characteristic yellow precipitate with nitrate of silver.
By dissolving benzoic acid in water, with solution of ammonia, and crystallizing.
Occurs in colorless laminar crystals, which are soluble in water and alcohol: they are sublimed by heat. Hydrochloric acid precipitates benzoic acid from solution, and caustic potash heated with it causes evolution of ammonia. Per-salts of iron give a yellow precipitate.
Ammonii Sulphidum (Appendix II.), (NH1)2S, = 68. - By passing sulphuretted hydrogen into liq. ammoniae to saturation, then adding more liq. ammoniae.
NH3 + H1S = NH1HS and NH1HS + NH3 = (NH1) 2S
A colorless liquid, becoming yellow when kept, of disagreeable taste and fetid odor. It is incompatible with almost all metallic and acid solutions.
Ammonioe Nitras - Nitrate of Ammonia, NH1NO3, = 80. (Placed in the appendix only for the preparation of nitrous oxide gas.)