AMMONIUM uses in aerospace?

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Rex R

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so the latest update to the game 'astroneer'* included a new head scratcher of an item, Ammonium. at the moment there doesn't seem to be any use for it...hence the question. I doubt that the dev.s are chemists so the name is probably off/made up. any ideas on what sort of use it might have?
*Astroneer, sort of a 'minecraft' in space sandbox game.
Rex
 

dhbarr

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Coolant, fuel source, feedstock?
 

Rex R

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I did wonder if the devs were thinking of it as a fuel precursor, and or replacing the hydrazine resource already ingame. thanks for the info,
Rex
 

bobk99

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Precursor to ammonium perchlorate -oxidizer & fuel on solid rocket boosters
 

Cl(VII)

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Chemist who is dying here answer: Not actually a thing unless it has a counter ion...like chloride, fluoride, perchlorate, sulfate, etc. I'm going to die inside if you have to separately collect perchlorate or nitrate to make it into a fuel.

Might also be a fertilizer; do you terraform anything?
 

Rex R

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shape, deform the land yes, actually try to grow things or make the planets suitable for life...no. it the nitrogen compound at the moment is a place holder, have not heard of anyone finding it in the 'wild' so to speak, after the last update it was found as an available trade item w/o a use(once you have it, it just sits there). I suspect that it will turn out to be ammonium perchlorate(as is suspected to be on Mars). it will be interesting to see what the devs have in mind for it. currently players are having 'fun' with the latest surprise, being blown away by windstorms :).
Rex
 

prfesser

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As a pedantic chemistry prof... :)

ammoniUM and ammoniA are two hugely different things. Ammonia is a gas that consists of neutral molecules of NH3. It is liquefied and pumped into the ground as fertilizer, and was a fuel in the X15. Smells horrible, and breathing even moderate concentrations can kill. Ammonium is an ion, NH4 with a + charge. It cannot exist by itself; it must be paired with some sort of negative ion such as nitrate, chloride, sulfate, etc. It is pretty much innocuous and has no odor. Ammonium bicarbonate is used in place of baking soda to make nicely crisp cookies.

The question is, which do they mean, ammonia or ammonium ions? If the latter, what ions is it paired with? Makes a big difference.

If it's just a made-up material I guess one could make up any desired properties for it...

<Quiz on Friday>
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ksaves2

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I thought ammonia is used as a coolant or refrigerant on the ISS? If that's true I'd think it would be smart to keep all the associated "stuff" outdoors.

Please correct this if I'm wrong but I vaguely remembered something about this being said in the past.

In the early days of refrigeration I believe ammonia was used as a refrigerant as Freon wasn't invented yet. I saw some documentary about the last ice company in the US that was using original equipment for making ice and it used ammonia as the refrigerant. Same stuff farmers spray in the fields only they "incorrectly"
use the term "anhydrous". Anhydrous as many of you know means "without water" and can be applied to anything. The correct term would be
"anhydrous ammonia" but in farming, say anhydrous and every farmer knows what you are talking about.

Besides cleaning windows and spraying on fields, ammonia was used to "develop" photosensitive azo dyes for an early form of photo copying. All the design plans
in the late 50's 60's and 70's were made from original tracings or photomechanical reproductions of tracings (plans) that were contact printed with light and then developed in a chamber that sprayed anhydrous gas that turned the yellow dye blue.

Before that there were "blueprints" where the light fixed the dye into the paper and then the paper was run through tanks of I believe potassium dichromate.
The clear areas where light hit were developed by the chemical and the dye that wasn't hit with light, washed away. Hence the blue background and the white
lines. Those Blueprint machines where monstrosities with chemical trays and water trays for rinsing and large rollers with gas fired jets in them to semi-dry the
paper as it rolled off the end of the machine. I remember it from my father's shop in the early days. When I was 10 years old, the blueprint machines were being phased out and the "Diazo" machines (with the ammonia) was phased in. The "blueline" or blackline or sepia prints came out of these devices and the machines
were much smaller than a blueprint machine. No tanks/trays, dichromate, gas fired rollers constant source of water was required.

I spend many a summer from age 10 to 22 running a Diazo machine and the entire summer long I'd have black hands. The paper dye
would get on my hands and develop on the palms. By weekend's end they'd be clear but the rest of the week, my palms were unwashable
black! Kurt
 

bobk99

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Good advice from last 2 posts. Ammonia is a gas and lethal at 500 ppm. It will react with copper piping if there is any moisture even in small amounts present. Ammonia will react with perchloric acid to make a salt , ammonium perchlorate, a very strong rocket oxidizer.
 

OverTheTop

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ammoniUM and ammoniA are two hugely different things.
Deliberate malapropism used in my earlier post.

If you really want confusion, try talking about iron ions. Working at a place that designs spectrometers it happens all the time. The cure is to pronounce the R in iron. iRon ions. Simple eh!
 

boatgeek

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I thought ammonia is used as a coolant or refrigerant on the ISS? If that's true I'd think it would be smart to keep all the associated "stuff" outdoors.

Please correct this if I'm wrong but I vaguely remembered something about this being said in the past.

In the early days of refrigeration I believe ammonia was used as a refrigerant as Freon wasn't invented yet. I saw some documentary about the last ice company in the US that was using original equipment for making ice and it used ammonia as the refrigerant. Same stuff farmers spray in the fields only they "incorrectly"
use the term "anhydrous". Anhydrous as many of you know means "without water" and can be applied to anything. The correct term would be
"anhydrous ammonia" but in farming, say anhydrous and every farmer knows what you are talking about.

Besides cleaning windows and spraying on fields, ammonia was used to "develop" photosensitive azo dyes for an early form of photo copying. All the design plans
in the late 50's 60's and 70's were made from original tracings or photomechanical reproductions of tracings (plans) that were contact printed with light and then developed in a chamber that sprayed anhydrous gas that turned the yellow dye blue.

Before that there were "blueprints" where the light fixed the dye into the paper and then the paper was run through tanks of I believe potassium dichromate.
The clear areas where light hit were developed by the chemical and the dye that wasn't hit with light, washed away. Hence the blue background and the white
lines. Those Blueprint machines where monstrosities with chemical trays and water trays for rinsing and large rollers with gas fired jets in them to semi-dry the
paper as it rolled off the end of the machine. I remember it from my father's shop in the early days. When I was 10 years old, the blueprint machines were being phased out and the "Diazo" machines (with the ammonia) was phased in. The "blueline" or blackline or sepia prints came out of these devices and the machines
were much smaller than a blueprint machine. No tanks/trays, dichromate, gas fired rollers constant source of water was required.

I spend many a summer from age 10 to 22 running a Diazo machine and the entire summer long I'd have black hands. The paper dye
would get on my hands and develop on the palms. By weekend's end they'd be clear but the rest of the week, my palms were unwashable
black! Kurt
Ammonia is still used as a refrigerant in large industrial plants, like on factory boats that process and freeze fish at sea. In a way, ammonia is nice because it tells you it's there. Unless there's a sudden break, you'll be out of the room long before ammonia will kill you, just because you can't stand to be there. On the other hand, the Freons can slowly displace oxygen and you can suffocate without knowing that there was a leak. Anhydrous ammonia is apparently used in meth production, because one of our clients had people trying to steal it from their spare tanks. One of the stupider ones drained some into a bucket and put a lid on. He didn't realize that the anhydrous would pull water out of the air, expand, and blow the lid off the bucket. They found him puking in the ditch about a hundred yards down the road.

The office used to have one of the ammonia blueline machines, but it's long gone. I do still like the nostalgic residual smell on old drawings, but people look at me funny when I say that. :)
 

ksaves2

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Ammonia is still used as a refrigerant in large industrial plants, like on factory boats that process and freeze fish at sea. In a way, ammonia is nice because it tells you it's there. Unless there's a sudden break, you'll be out of the room long before ammonia will kill you, just because you can't stand to be there. On the other hand, the Freons can slowly displace oxygen and you can suffocate without knowing that there was a leak. Anhydrous ammonia is apparently used in meth production, because one of our clients had people trying to steal it from their spare tanks. One of the stupider ones drained some into a bucket and put a lid on. He didn't realize that the anhydrous would pull water out of the air, expand, and blow the lid off the bucket. They found him puking in the ditch about a hundred yards down the road.

The office used to have one of the ammonia blueline machines, but it's long gone. I do still like the nostalgic residual smell on old drawings, but people look at me funny when I say that. :)
Yeah my dad moved the ammonia to a large tank outside the building and stuck a high fence around it. Blueline prints want out of style just a bit before the meth cookers started coming online and making it. Our tank was long
gone before methamphetamine became popular. I am thinking that was in the late 70's or early 80's. Nonetheless there wasn't a sign on it that said ammonia and it looked like a large tank for bottled gas. Went totally unmolested
while we had it. Kurt
 

bobk99

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At the risk of being OCD, I must repeat what has already been well stated by the prfessor, ammonium can not exist by itself since it has a +1 charge. But ammonia (NH3) can and does exist as a neutral molecule and will react with hypochlorous acid (OHCl) to eventually make hydrazine, a highly toxic fuel that was used in the Space Shuttle's reaction thrusters and as the fuel for the auxiliary power units (APU'S) The reason why the astronauts did not exit the Shuttle for some time after landing was because of the possibility that toxic hydrazine was present.
 
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