Ammonium sulfate

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Structural formula
2 Structure of the ammonium ion   Structure of sulfate ion
Surname Ammonium sulfate
other names
  • di-ammonium sulfate
  • Ammonium sulfate
  • sulfuric ammonium
  • sulfuric ammonia
  • E  517
Molecular formula (NH 4 ) 2 SO 4
Brief description

odorless and colorless crystalline solid

External identifiers / databases
CAS number 7783-20-2
EC number 231-984-1
ECHA InfoCard 100.029.076
PubChem 24538
Wikidata Q191831
Molar mass 132.14 g mol −1
Physical state



1.77 g cm −3

Melting point

> 235 ° C


easily soluble in water:

  • 754 g l −1 (grams per liter of water as a solvent at 20 ° C)
  • Mass concentration of the saturated solution: β = 533 g l −1 (20 ° C)
safety instructions
GHS labeling of hazardous substances
no GHS pictograms
H and P phrases H: no H-phrases
P: no P-phrases
Toxicological data
Thermodynamic properties
ΔH f 0

−1180 kJ mol −1

As far as possible and customary, SI units are used. Unless otherwise noted, the data given apply to standard conditions .

Ammonium sulfate (E 517) is a salt of ammonia and sulfuric acid . A related salt is ammonium hydrogen sulfate .


In nature, ammonium sulfate is known as a rare mineral under the name of mascagnin.


Ammonium sulfate is not very hygroscopic , aqueous solutions are weakly acidic. Like many ammonium salts, it can react with sodium nitrite or potassium nitrite at room temperature to form flames or even to explode.

Extraction and presentation

Ammonium sulfate is made by introducing ammonia into 80% sulfuric acid

or made by reacting ammonia , carbon dioxide and water with gypsum .


The incredible effects of ammonium sulfate

Ammonium sulfate is an important fertilizer additive . In biological sewage treatment plants it is used as a component of nutrient mixtures for the microorganism cultures .

In the chemical industry, it is used, among other things, as a precipitant for protein , as a flotation agent and for the production of fire extinguishing powder and flame retardants . The leather industry uses it for staining, the paper industry for flame-retardant papers .

In biochemistry , ammonium sulfate is the salting out of proteins ( ammonium sulfate precipitation ) was used. In addition, cells and tissue are preserved in a saturated ammonium sulfate solution to protect the RNA from degradation.

Ammonium sulfate is also added to foods as a carrier for other additives. In the EU , as a food additive with the number E 517, it is only approved as a carrier or carrier solvent.

In winemaking , ammonium sulphate is used as a component of nutrient salt mixtures for yeasts , above all to promote cell reproduction during fermentation.

Web links

Commons : Ammonium sulfate  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Ammoniumsulfat  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Entry on E 517: Ammonium sulphate in the European database for food additives, accessed on August 11, 2020.
  2. Entry on AMMONIUM SULFATES in the CosIng database of the EU Commission, accessed on February 26, 2020.
  3. a b c d e f g h i j Entry on ammonium sulphate in the GESTIS substance database of the IFA , accessed on December 19, 2019(JavaScript required) .
  4. Robert K. Scopes: Protein Purification. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013, ISBN 978-1-4757-2333-5 , p. 81
  5. Data sheet ammonium sulfate (PDF) from Merck , accessed on January 19, 2011.
  6. PAETEC Formula Collection Edition 2003, p. 116.
  7. Malcolm Back, William D. Birch, Michel Blondieau and others: The New IMA List of Minerals - A Work in Progress - Updated: November 2018. (PDF 1753 kB) In: IMA / CNMNC, Marco Pasero, November 2018, accessed on March 27, 2019 (English, Arcanite see p. 11).
  8. Process for the production of high-purity ammonium sulfate and calcite using gypsum