> chemistry > bases > ammonia-generator-ammonium-salt-naoh-doug-s-lab

Ammonia Generator

Doug's Lab - 2015-03-17

In this video, I discuss various methods for generating and drying ammonia gas, as well as demonstrate my personal favorite generator setup.

Watch & Learn - 2018-12-30

I think that the NaOH should be 2NaOH because you have Na2 on the product

plante1999 - 2015-03-17

The material in the graduated cylinder is very probably calcium hydroxide. Well water will often contain calcium as the bicarbonate.

Doug's Lab - 2015-05-22

@HClO3 Chem Very good observation!

Mr. Jay Moulton - 2018-04-03

Could also be silicic acid from dissolved silicon dioxide.

moosehead - 2016-05-11

Try using cetyl alcohol as an antifoaming agent! Just a few drops of regular hair conditioner should do it

Bxnkroll BobbySands - 2020-08-09

duuuuude. +1

R Johnson - 2018-01-12

PLEASE Show the urea path!
It's so unlike the other methods that it seems very interesting.

XC2long4u - 2018-02-12

It would be interesting to see it with diesel exhaust fluid.

TheChemistryShack - 2015-03-17

You should try the ammonia fountain experiment

Don't Even Bother - 2016-07-10

Doug always has a hard on for his pressure equalizing addition funnel.

Florian Kalberer - 2018-12-06

name of the song from the intro pls?



ILikeYourClothes - 2018-04-12

Nice video, thanks.

Erik Persson - 2017-05-28

Hi Doug, I've been an avid fan and subscriber for a long time. This is my first post to you so I hope that you'll read it.
Just wanted to ask if it would be possible to extract the sodium sulfate from this process? Would it just be to boil off the excess water in the first flask, to yield anhydrous NaSO4 or would you have to do something else? The reason for asking is because I'm looking for easy ways to make sodium sulfate, and since this process would give me high-grade ammonia it seems like a win-win situation, and plus the fact that I've got an entire box filled with ammonium sulfate which I accidentaly bought from the garden centre, back in the days when I thought that "ammoniacal nitrates" meant ammonium nitrate ;-) And I've also got tons of sodium hydroxide which I'm dying to use ;-D

Jake Waitze - 2017-06-07

You can... First you need to neutralize the remaining solution with an acid to get rid of the remaining NaOH in solution. I'd recommend using H2SO4 for this, since it will neutralize to form further H2O and Na2SO4, so that you can boil off most of the water and crystallize the sodium sulfate.

Jay Hall - 2020-01-01

Vaccume distallation of ammonia solution seems to produce a much higher concentration soulution very quickly that's easier to work with

lay low - 2020-04-08

Dude your hyper as hell brow mellow down some . Gesh

Arrow Games - 2015-12-29

When i first did this reaction i used calcium hydroxide instead of sodium. Would there be a difference?


i dont think so

Metalhammer1993 - 2016-11-22

well except for the rate of reaction i don´t think so (and well the stecheometry but that´s obviously) but the more basic your hydroxide is the faster it will go.

Chad Kimsey - 2018-04-10

The main difference would be speed of reaction. Reason: Ca(OH)2 is much less soluble than NaOH, the latter being completely soluble with a very high saturation concentration. The most effective NH3 generator I always use is most any form of highly soluble ammonium salt dissolved to saturation in water. The eastest to acquire I use ammonium nitrate from a strong fertilizer which can cheaply be purchased in bulk. After the solution is saturated, slowly dripping in con. NaOH with stirring shifta equilibuium turning ammonium ion into ammonia gas, which is forced out of solution as gas without heating, also drastically limiting water vapor since heating is not required. Also, when finished you have a byproduct of NaNO3 salt, which can be used to nitrate compound in other reactions or used to make nitric acid; so multiple uses from just a couple cheap starting chemicals.

daiitokumyouou899 - 2015-12-16

for the urea maybe use something to break up the surface tension or a solvent with a low surface tension? maybe try using urease instead of hydroxide?

Chad Kimsey - 2018-04-10

Urea alone can make an excellent ammonia generator since it is a single C=O(NH2)2 molecular structure, each molecule degredation yields 2 molecules of ammonia. Dripping in HCl chemically destroys uresa into 2NH3 and one CO2 molecule when in water. Since a water molecule is consumed to give the second O to form CO2 in the second step of degredation, H+ ions are reformed making HCl more of a catalyst. This requires some heating being an acid-catalyzed reaction so be careful not to overheat and pollute your NH3 gas with excess water vapor; 50-60 C should be enough heat and a drying column with CaCl2 or CaSO4 should be sufficient.


hey can one use ammonium chloride and calcium hydroxide also for the preparation?

ChemicalMaster - 2016-02-29

+GADIYAR VAIBHAVI Yes, that also works! I´ve done that before and also that´s one of the reactions used on the industrial preparation of sodium bicarbonate!

Damn Yankee - 2018-12-14

Add a bit of antifoam to the urea + base

The Animal - 2019-10-27

How much Hydrogen is created from this ?

S.S RADON - 2019-05-08

Have you considered drying your NaOH before adding to the urea?

Michael samir - 2018-06-05

Can you make a video on how to extract ammonia from fish tank water to use it in chemical reactions

Gerry Murphy - 2020-07-08

Theres only a few miligrams per litre in aquarium water....bacteria rapidly oxidize into nitrates. Urine is a much better source...

Chlorine Gas - 2015-07-30

Can you use ammonium chloride and calcium hydroxide?

ScienceWithJames - 2017-11-10


ChemicalMaster - 2016-02-29

+Doug's Lab Sodium hydroxide is more than hygroscopic, it´s deliquescent!

Laurentiu Alimpie - 2015-03-17

Maybe some carbonate or perhaps bicarbonate ions from your water reacted with ammonia in solution... 

Ryan mcmahon - 2018-12-30

A couple of practical notes. Foaming may occur even with ammonium sulfate though not as bad as urea bring heat up in stages.
2. Suckback occurs when your dripping in and the gas evolution slows you will see it separate with a clear layer on top be ready and disconnect output line then until until all aq NH3SO4 is added then reattach output and add heat.

AaronT Tsai - 2018-01-27

He's not wearing gloves!

Clown Whisper - 2015-11-12

I have done the urea r3acti9n 100 times it only phones if you boil out all the water

umer hadeed - 2018-09-27

i want make dry liquid ammonia at home , plz guide me.

Mark Zockerzwerg - 2018-10-22

You would need a cooling trap or a Dry ice/Aceton mixture to cool down the ammonia gas.

Borristhebeaver 1024 - 2017-12-15

I don't know if this would work but you could try adding a screen, like a gauze, in the mouth of the flask to stop the bubbles produced by the urea method before they get too high.

elektronik zımbırtılar - 2019-09-28

Where did you get the glass tube

BackYard Science 2000 - 2020-01-06

You can get them cheaply on eBay.

Nicolas Crav - 2020-03-28

the Rx isn´t balanced ...

Exemplary Ligas - 2016-04-03

if you want a ammonia solution(me too) the calcium chloride isnt necessary right?

louis tournas - 2016-04-17

You don't need to dry the NH3 if you are going to make a solution with it.

Exemplary Ligas - 2016-04-18

+louis tournas yeah, when i see the cacl2 i say wuuut

Watch & Learn - 2018-12-30

Hi, why 13.2 and 9 g for ammonium sulfate and sodium hydroxide, respectively? I did the equation as 1:1 ratio for moles, meaning, ammonium sulfate has a molar mass of 132.14 g/mol and sodium hydroxide 40 g/mol. What should I do to get that 13.2 and 9 g as you mentioned, please help? I was thinking this might have to do with the net equation but couldn't figure it out. I love your video and wish I was taught this in school. thanks +Doug's Lab

Watch & Learn - 2018-12-30

I see a lot of people use different mass to get to their "10%" and I want the correct answer since I need 30%. I think yours is correct but I am not sure how yet, searching a lot. Thanks

Matt Hunter - 2016-01-11

I usually mix the dry Sodium Hydroxide with dry Ammonium Sulphate in the reaction vessel and add a bit of water, because the reaction generates more water it accelerates on its own, don't particularly need to heat it because there is a lot less water in the reaction vessel to absorb the ammonia.

I would also suggest that an oil layer would control foaming in a urea/hydroxide reaction (silicone oil if using strong hydroxides otherwise it will be soap foam!)

Norman Reitzel - 2017-07-09

I can buy "diaphram caustic" (sometimes liquid caustic) for around $7/gallon, that works very well with ammonium sulfate, also. Just don't use a glass sep funnel as an addition funnel. Buy the cheapest all plastic funnel you can find.

joe estes - 2017-12-31

I come back to this video more than twice for reference, thanks!

Ivanka marković - 2016-11-29

If i hawe 5 g of sudo how much litium i need? help

shane brady - 2017-02-11

what method??

Robert Jenkins - 2018-05-10

I'd say you need approximately 100....grand saved up for lawyer fees

Mark Harder - 2017-02-28

Doug, did you ever experiment with ( NH4)2 CO3? Ammonium carbonate, which is cheap and available in anydrous form, decomposes in an open container into NH3 and CO2 and water. I can't try this at home because I don't have a lab (yet). Perhaps passing the effluent gases through a generous amount of lime (a basic dehydrating agent and usable with ammonia) will remove the water?

Mark Harder - 2017-02-28

P.S. Look up ammonium carbonate in Wikipedia. It was and may still be used to replace yeast in baking foodstuffs! Wikip. doesn't say how baked ammoniated dough tastes, or if one needs a fume hood to bake bread this way. At least the use makes A.C. readily available (I think.)

Chad Kimsey - 2018-01-11

Unless it could be ordered at a high purity via chemical supply, food grade would most likely be too low of a concentration to be worth it, not counting impurities getting in the way. Most likely this would not be sold at high concentrations due to the self reacting breakdown it exhibits; especially liberating NH3 gas.

Also storage time is issue b/c ammonia and CO2 released over time during natural breakdown to sodium bicarbonate powder; effectively loosing up to half the ammonia before use accelerated by heat and moisture. Best ammonia source is by far fertilizer, with only NH4NO3 and most all contain lots of urea too. If not amm. nitrate, other salts work too but nitrate is best if available. Never use ammonium hydroxide unless its fuming high con. lab grade...cleaners max around 7-9% usually so very low yield for energy input

Fenton Heirtzler - 2018-01-25

I'm also curious about the Claisen condenser. It is fitted with ChemClamps for both 19 /32 and 24/40 ground glass joints.

TheRolemodel1337 - 2018-03-01

commenting with 2 accounts to boost doug...
smart :D

Phil Trip - 2018-07-24

Can you run AMMONIA GAS threw METHANOL ? In the presents of SILICA GEL?

Benjamin Joshua Beggs - 2019-03-31

No he CANT

Amipotsophspond - 2020-05-03

why that would just make Methylamine, anyone with any organic chemistry knowledge would know how to synthesize such a simple organic. even if all knowledge of it was censored from the internet. a clandestine researchers first move would be to attempt to mix the isolated two component parts together under different kinematic conditions to rediscover the formula. why even high school chemistry teacher even if they were suffering from cancer, particularly if had regrets about missing out on joining a crystal pharmaceutical start up based on revolutionary techniques they had pioneered, would know how to make it. they certainly would not have to resort to robing a train. my point is as good as a story BB is it has some large holes in it's plot that shows that it was not written by someone with understanding on the chemistry side of things. if it was written by someone with chemistry knowledge Walter White would have used cryogenics to distill nitrogen out of the air then turn that into ammonia. he would use gasoline to build up the rest of the molecule.

Clown Whisper - 2016-01-16

II hope that little fan is not the only hood exhaust you have.. Good God that is terrifying.....
I have a 900cfm inline fan in a standard size hood......

Haley Euphemia Praesent - 2017-12-05

Why are you condensing the water out if you are just making ammonia sol, surely it would have sodium or sulfate still in it by the time it reaches the graduated cylinder?

STRAIGHTM98BALLIN - 2016-05-21

the intro makes me cringe so hard haha

Iam Observer - 2018-01-11

What the fack are you doing here go cringe elsewhere then

Matt F - 2018-09-08

Same though

The Crude Lab - 2018-09-09

@SinisterMinister I'm pretty sure you are not allowed a channel on YouTube if you are 12 years old

The Crude Lab - 2018-09-09

@Don't Even Bother deal with it

Don't Even Bother - 2018-09-09

+The Crud Lab
Replying to a 30 month old comment.
Find something useful to do with your friggin time bud.

Matthias Carroll - 2018-04-05

Doug how would the yield fare if you simply turned the hotplate off? I know ammonia is more soluble in warmer water so to the point that I don't want to boil the reaction vessel could I get an appreciable yield with considerably less time and effort? Thanks

Wei Zhao - 2018-06-10

heating the water will drive off the ammonia. it might be more soluble but the heat will boil it out anyway.

Max McCormick - 2018-07-18

Ammonia (like pretty much all gases) is less soluble in warmer water, the heat is to drive it all off even before boiling

Gerald Ellis - 2018-03-27

is this called anhydrous ammonia

Matt F - 2018-09-06


Maggie P - 2018-09-08

Matt F Ammonia is the only efficient refrigerant that doesn't harm the planet.

Addison Guynn - 2019-01-13

@Matt F Meth cook probably

Dave B - 2017-07-13

Can you do a birtch reduction on some OTC meds? Like ibuprophen pseudophed, ephedra etc? Go over the red phosphorous method vs. anhydrous ammonia method, and use all OTC chemicals? I'll stay awake while you make the video and clean my kitchen 42 more times.

Zote - 2017-10-04

... shitty pseudo cooker

ChemRecords 1 - 2020-08-25

Not funny, didn’t laugh

Marcelo Picoli - 2019-01-04

Most of your ammonia is in solution in the water inside the rubber tubing. Suckback drew some water into the tubing "loop" and it acted as a first and better "bubbler" - more contact area, the insides of the tubing are constantly wetted due to the movement of the bubbles.

Theodore Jackson - 2018-08-05

You obviously know way more than I about chemistry in general, but I must ask, why aren't you wearing gloves when handling NaOH? I know that its easy to neutralize and all that, but isn't that common safety protocol?

Wade Hutchinson - 2015-05-22

ammonia , sodium , ephedra= meth

Doug's Lab - 2015-05-22

@Wade Hutchinson Well, kind of. But anhydrous liquid ammonia and wet gaseous ammonia are very different things!

Wade Hutchinson - 2015-05-22

thought you made anhydrous

Wade Hutchinson - 2015-05-22

but I guess your cold finger would have to be at least -32f for it to condense

Nitro - 2016-08-22

Ephedra is the species of plants that contain Ephedrine, which can be used to cook meth.

Wade Hutchinson - 2016-08-22

use dry ice