Ammonium sulfate

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White or gray orthorhombic crystals that are used for flame proofing textiles and paper products, for tanning Leather, and for the manufacture of viscose Silk. Commercially, ammonium sulfate is also used as a fertilizer and as a reagent in water purification systems. Crystals of ammonium sulfate found in the bloom on painting varnishes and in a discolored area of a watercolor paper substrate may be due to Sulfur dioxide pollutants (Hatchfield 2002). In a closed environment, a saturated solution of ammonium sulfate will form an equilibrium at a relative humidity of about 81% (20C).

Synonyms and Related Terms

ammonium sulphate (Br.); svovlsur ammoniak (Dan.); Ammoniumsulfat (Deut., Sven.); diammonium sulfate; Actamaster; Dolamin; mascagnite

Chemical structure

Ammonium sulfate.jpg


Nonflammable. May corrode metals.

Harmful if swallowed. Contact may cause irritation.

Fisher Scientific: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water (pH=5.5 at 0.1 mol/L). Insoluble in ethanol, acetone.

Deliquescent point at 20C is 80.6 % RH (see saturated salt solutions)

Composition (NH4)2SO4
CAS 7783-20-2
Melting Point 235-280 C (dec)
Density 1.77 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 132.14

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 58
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 590
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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