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What happens when Barium Hydroxide reacts with Ammonium Chloride?


Ammonium chloride is a white crystalline salt of ammonia base and hydrochloric acid. It is an inorganic salt and its aqueous solution is weakly acidic. Another name for naturally occurring ammonium chloride is sal ammoniac.

The natural source of ammonium chloride is burning coal dumps. It is formed on burning coal dumps during the condensation of coal gasses. It is also naturally produced in volcanic vents. It is prepared in the laboratory by a neutralization reaction. This method is used for the large-scale commercial preparation of ammonium chloride. The reaction equation is given below

NH3 + HCl➞NH4Cl

The reaction of ammonium chloride with barium hydroxide: Barium hydroxide is a strong base and ammonium chloride solution is slightly acidic so the reaction becomes an acid-base reaction. To better understand the reactions of barium hydroxide, it is better to understand the purpose of barium hydroxide in detail.


One mole of barium hydroxide reacts with two moles of ammonium chloride to produce one mole of barium chloride, two moles of ammonia, and two moles of water. The chemical equation of the reaction is given below

Ba(OH)2 + 2NH4Cl➞BaCl2 + 2NH3 + 2H2O

The major product of this reaction is ammonia so this reaction is commercially used in large-scale production of ammonia. Ammonia is a strong base with important industrial applications. It is an endothermic reaction and the enthalpy change of this reaction is positive.

Endothermic Reaction

A reaction that absorbs heat from the environment is called an endothermic reaction. It reduces the temperature of the surroundings and causes a cooling effect.

For example, when you put a drop of ethanol on your palm then you feel a cooling effect. That is because ethanol evaporates in air and the reaction absorbs heat from the environment and you feel cooling.

An endothermic reaction causes a decrease in entropy. The energy of breaking bonds is less than the energy of new bonds which is why the system absorbs energy from its surroundings.

How the Reaction Proceeds

Barium hydroxide is mixed with ammonium chloride in a test tube. The test tube is heated to proceed with the reaction. Firstly, the barium chloride is produced which is soluble in the solution but when it reacts with ammonium chloride then precipitates are formed.

Ammonia is formed next and is soluble in the solution. Upon further heating, ammonia gas is released from the test tube which may be poisonous. The ammonia gas is collected at the end.

Precautions for the Reaction

The ammonia gas formed is very toxic so the reaction must be carried out with great care. Use gloves, mask, and safety goggles while carrying out the reaction. Avoid direct contact with any of the chemicals.

Importance of this Reaction

This reaction is of industrial importance for the production of ammonia gas. Ammonia is an important industrial chemical. The major use of ammonia is in the fertilizer industry. The second major use of ammonia is in chemical synthesis.

It is used as a base in various chemical reactions such as the synthesis of nitric acid and many nitrogen-containing compounds.

Barium chloride is the minor product of this reaction. It is also of industrial importance such as in the rubber and papermaking industry.

Barium metal is isolated commercially from barium chloride.It is also used in purifying the brine solution and oil refining.

Frequently asked questions

Q 1: what is the value of ∆H of this reaction?

Ans: The value of ∆H for this reaction is 90.66 kJ.

Q 2: Give three examples of endothermic reactions?

Ans: Endothermic reactions reduce the entropy and maintain the temperature of the environment. Following are the daily life examples of endothermic reactions

  • Dissolving salt in water.
  • Evaporation of water.
  • Melting of ice.

Q 3: What are the applications of ammonium chloride?

Ans: Ammonium chloride is an acid-base salt and it is used

  • As a nitrogen supply in the fertilizer industry.
  • As an electrolyte in dry cells.
  • In the treatment of bronchial cough.