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Ammonia fountain experiment

Description

The ammonia fountain is a classic demonstration used to observe the solubility of ammonia in water. Universal indicator is used to see the alkaline nature of the solution formed.

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
ammonia-fountain-experime...



Apparatus Chemicals

Eye protection

Access to a fume cupboard

For the fountain demonstration itself:

Flask, 500 cm3 or 1 dm3 which is completely dry (Note 1)

Rubber stopper, plain, to fit the flask

Two-holed rubber stopper to fit the flask fitted with a glass jet (Note 2)

Plastic syringe (10 cm3) (Note 3)

Trough or large beaker which can hold more water than the flask

Stand, clamp and boss along with a heavy weight or bench clamp to avoid apparatus toppling over

White board or sheet of card to act as a background to improve visibility

For preparing the dry ammonia:

Stand, clamp and boss

Boiling-tube fitted with a one-holed rubber stopper holding a drying tube.

One-holed rubber stopper to fit the drying tube, fitted with a short length of glass delivery tube

Length of rubber delivery tube

Bunsen burner

Heat resistant mat 

Ammonium chloride (HARMFUL), 5 g

Calcium hydroxide (IRRITANT), 5 g

Small lumps of calcium oxide (CORROSIVE) as drying agent - sufficient for the drying tube

Acid-alkali indicator (e.g. Universal Indicator)

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 








The ammonia fountain is a classic demonstration used to observe the solubility of ammonia in water. Universal indicator is used to see the alkaline nature of the solution formed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.

The experiment is also part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Continuing Professional Development course: Chemistry for non-specialists