Ammonium chloride is an inorganic compound with the formula NH4Cl and a white crystalline salt that is highly soluble in water. Solutions of ammonium chloride are mildly acidic. Sal ammoniac is a name of the natural, mineralogical form of ammonium chloride. The mineral is commonly formed on burning coal dumps from condensation of coal-derived gases. It is also found around some types of volcanic vents. Chemically, it is the product from the reaction of hydrochloric acid and ammonia.
The main application of ammonium chloride is as a nitrogen source in fertilizers (corresponding to 90% of the world production of ammonium chloride) The main crops are rice and wheat in Asia
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It is used as a thickening agent in ammonium-based surfactant systems such as ammonium lauryl sulphate.
Ammonium chloride is used as a flux in preparing metals to be tin coated, galvanized or soldered. It works as a flux by cleaning the surface of workpieces by reacting with the metal oxides at the surface to form a volatile metal chloride.
Ammonium chloride is used to produce low temperatures in cooling baths. Ammonium chloride solutions with ammonia are used as buffer solutions including ACK (Ammonium-Chloride- Potassium) lysis buffer
In paleontology, ammonium chloride vapor is deposited on fossils, where the substance forms a brilliant white, easily removed and fairly harmless and inert layer of tiny crystals. That covers up any coloration the fossil may have, and if lighted at an angle, highly enhances contrast in photographic documentation of three-dimensional specimens
The same technique is applied in archaeology to eliminate reflection on glass and similar specimens for photography.
5. Other applications
Ammonium chloride is used in a ~5% aqueous solution to work on oil wells with clay swelling problems.
It is also used as electrolyte in zinc–carbon batteries. In the glue that bonds plywood, and in cleaning products.