Ammonium Carbonate Formula: Production, Properties and Uses

Learn about (NH4)2CO3, the formula of Ammonium Carbonate. (NH4)2CO3 is the chemical formula of ammonium carbonate, a white, crystalline salt. Discover its properties, applications, and more in this concise guide.

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The chemical formula for Ammonium Carbonate, also known as Baker’s Ammonia Formula or diammonium salt formula, is (NH4)2CO3. It is a chemical compound that is composed of ammonium and carbonate ions.

Colorless crystal or white powder, it has a strong odour of ammonia and a sharp ammoniacal taste. It is non-combustible and soluble in water. When it reacts with acids, it forms ammonium salts and carbon dioxide. When it reacts with bases, it produces ammonia gas. Carbon dioxide and aqueous ammonia are blended to produce it.

Due to its property of degrading to gaseous ammonia and carbon dioxide when heated, it is widely used as a leavening agent and smelling salt.

Ammonium Carbonate Formula

(NH4)2CO3 is the chemical formula of ammonium carbonate, a white, crystalline salt.

Ammonium Carbonate Formula

Molecular Formula of Ammonium Carbonate

Ammonium Carbonate has a chemical formula or molecular formula of (NH4)2CO3. It degrades into gaseous ammonia and carbon dioxide when heated at high temperatures. It is primarily used as a leavening salt and aroma salt. It was the precursor to modern leavening agents like baking soda and baking powder.


To produce ammonium carbonate, carbon dioxide and aqueous ammonia are combined. This process yields approximately 80000 tons per year, as of 1997. The gas required for creating ammonium carbonate must be high in purity, ranging from 99% to 99.99%. It is then sent into two buffer gas vats with a pressure between 0.2 and 2MPa. From there, the gas is released through the Rota meter valve and into a sealed PVC synthesis reaction bag where it forms the final product. The flow rate for this process is (0.6-2) X 106L/h overall, with (0.1-0.6) X 106L/h for carbon dioxide and ammonia separately.

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With standard temperature and pressure, ammonium carbonate decomposes very slowly through two pathways. In the end, a sample of ammonium carbonate that is initially pure will soon turn into a mixture that contains a number of by-products. In addition to ammonium bicarbonate and ammonia, ammonium carbonate can spontaneously decompose.

(NH4)2CO3 → NH4HCO3 + NH3

Later on, they decompose into carbon dioxide, water, and other ammonia molecules.

NH4HCO3 → H2O + CO2 + NH3

Also Check – Malic Acid formula

Properties Of Ammonium Carbonate (Baker’s Ammonia)

The chemical formula of Ammonium Carbonate (NH4)2CO3
Molecular weight 96.09 g/mol
Density 1.50 g/cm3
Melting point 58 °C
Boiling point Decomposes

Also Read – Cobalt II Nitrate Formula


Leavening Agent

In some traditional recipes, especially those from northern Europe and Scandinavia, such as Speculoos, Tunnbröd and Lebkuchen, Ammonium carbonate also functions as a leavening agent. It is the ancestor of general baking powder which is used today.

Some Other Uses

Ammonium carbonate, the primary element of smelling salts, is also used in other products. Buckley’s cough syrup, produced in Canada, uses this ingredient to alleviate bronchitis symptoms. It has emetic properties and can also be found in smokeless tobacco and as a lens cleaner for cameras such as Eastman Kodak’s “Kodak Lens Cleaner.”

Ammonium Carbonate Formula FAQs

Q1. What is the chemical formula for Ammonium Carbonate?

Ans. The chemical formula for Ammonium Carbonate is (NH4)2CO3, which represents a compound composed of two ammonium ions (NH4+) and one carbonate ion (CO3^2-).

Q2. Is Ammonium Carbonate a stable compound?

Ans. No, Ammonium Carbonate is not stable and tends to decompose into ammonia (NH3), carbon dioxide (CO2), and water (H2O) when exposed to air, releasing a strong ammonia odor.

Q3. What are some common uses of Ammonium Carbonate?

Ans. Ammonium Carbonate has been historically used in baking as a leavening agent, although it has largely been replaced by more stable leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda.

Q4. Is Ammonium Carbonate soluble in water?

Ans. Yes, Ammonium Carbonate is soluble in water. When dissolved, it forms an alkaline solution due to the release of ammonia.

Q5. Why is Ammonium Carbonate used in some traditional baking recipes?

Ans. Ammonium Carbonate was used in traditional baking recipes because it produced carbon dioxide gas when heated, which helped dough rise. However, its strong ammonia smell and the availability of more predictable leavening agents have led to its reduced use in modern baking.

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