Ammonium Carbonate

This post isn’t about herbalism, per se, but may be used as a tool for improving one’s chemistry skills, either through study or practice.

Ammonium Carbonate (AC)’s melting point is 53-58 C, but it boils decomposes into carbon dioxide and ammonia spontaneously. The rate of kinetics is likely known but not noted here.

Questions to ask are: Where does the extra carbon come from? Hydrogen? How are the electrons balanced? Can gases be charged? What do the products smell like? I believe carbon dioxide is odorless and ammonia smells like, well… farts.

Note that in SDS terminology, an exclamation mark indicates that the compound is an irritant. This includes most if not all tissues.

It is a white powder soluble in water but not ethyl alcohol (the common active compound in drinking alcohol).

Ammonium carbonate solution is basic, as are sodium bicarbonate–the carbonate ion balance dictates this, primarily.

In foods, it is used as a raising agent, meaning it creates bubbles in baked goods to make the product aerated or, in baked goods, doughey.

AC may have selective antifungal properties due to the ammonium ion which is formed in solution at sufficient concentrations, as discussed in DePasquale & Montville. PDF version of paper available below:

Ammonium carbonate may be classified as a common chemical, with prices around $100/kg. It may be purchased from common chemical vendors.

Havings said all this, it just isn’t that interesting! But hopefully this allowed you to learn a bit of chemistry in preparation for the herbal science soon to follow!

Published by varjakBaby

Clinging, reaching out. Crying wolf when it's reasonable--all the fucking time. No one listens; you may free your ladder from the basement as due to rescue the light on the roof of the night sky. Favorite cheeses, in no particular order: Gouda, muenster, provolone, Havarti, Monterey Jack.

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