Ammonia NH3 Ionic or Covalent/ Molecular Bond?


Even though most of us have never seen it, ammonia is all around us. It’s a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, and it’s found in everything from animal waste to household cleaners.

Ammonia is also a key ingredient in agricultural fertilizers, as it helps to promote plant growth. 

Ammonia is a colorless, highly corrosive gas with a strong smell. It is used in many household and industrial cleaning products because it is very effective at breaking up dirt and grime.

However, ammonia can also be dangerous. At high concentrations, it can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. Ammonia can also be explosive, which is why it’s often used in industrial settings. Despite its potential hazards, ammonia is an incredibly versatile substance that plays a vital role in our everyday lives.

Ammonia occurs in a free as well as a combined state.

In Free state: Ammonia is present in small amounts in the air and in traces in natural water. Whereas,

in Combined state: In nature, ammonia occurs in combined form in many compounds such as ammonium chloride, ammonium sulfate, etc.

Ammonia and ammonium compounds being highly soluble in water, do not occur as minerals. It has a pungent smell which one encounters near a decaying heap of organic matter or a toilet is due to ammonia. It is produced due to bacterial decomposition of urea (NH2CONH2), present in the urine.

Is Ammonia Ionic or Covalent Bond?

Ammonia is a covalent bond. This is because ammonia molecules are held together by covalent bonds, which form when two atoms share electrons. In a covalent bond, the shared electrons spend more time around the atom with the higher electronegativity. This creates a partial negative charge on that atom, and a partial positive charge on the other atom. The atoms are then attracted to each other, and the bond is formed.

Ammonia has a relatively low electronegativity, so the electrons are not pulled too strongly towards any one atom. This results in a fairly even distribution of electrons around the molecule, and all the atoms have a share in the bonding.

Also, achieving minimum energy and maximum stability. During the process, after becoming a covalent bond both atoms attain the nearest noble gas configuration.

Topic Covered:

  1. Forms Of Ammonia
  2. Periodic Table Position Of Hydrogen And Nitrogen
  3. What Is A Covalent Compound?
  4. Covalent Bond Condition
  5. Why Is Ammonia NH3 A Covalent Compound?
  6. Electronegativity Difference Of Nitrogen And Hydrogen
  7. Dipole Moment And Hybridization Of NH3
  8. What Are Ionic Compounds?
  9. Advantages and Disadvantages Of Ammonia

Langmuir, in 1919 improved the Lewis concept. He suggests that only those atoms take part in a chemical combination that has short of electrons and wants to acquire the nearest noble gas configuration. They can share their electrons in order to complete their octets. Each atom contributes the same number of electrons to form common pairs which are then shared by both atoms.

molecular structure Ammonia NH3

As you can see from the diagram below, The shared pairs of electrons present between the atoms are called bond pairs because they are responsible for the bonding between the atoms.

On the other hand, the valence electrons which are not involved in bonding'(i.e. sharing) are shown called non-bonding or lone pairs or unshared pair of electrons.

Forms of Ammonia

Ammonia is used commonly in the following forms:

  1. Gaseous ammonia (dry ammonia gas)
  2. Liquid ammonia. When dry ammonia is liquefied by applying high pressure it is called liquid ammonia.
  3. Liquor ammonia fortis is a saturated solution of ammonia in water. It is called .880 ammonia. It has a relative density of 0.880. It is stored in tightly stoppered bottles in a cold place.
  4. Laboratory bench reagent: Dilute solution of liquor ammonia is used as a laboratory reagent.

Ammonia is a gas at room temperature and has the chemical formula NH3. It is made up of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms, and the bond between them is a covalent bond.

Ammonia is a covalent compound, meaning that it is held together by shared electrons between nitrogen atoms. This arrangement gives ammonia its strong smell and its corrosive properties.

Ammonia is also highly soluble in water, which makes it a useful cleaning agent. However, because of its high reactivity, ammonia must be handled with care. When mixed with other chemicals, ammonia can cause dangerous reactions that release toxic fumes. For this reason, Ammonia is typically only used in enclosed spaces such as factories or laboratories.

Periodic table position of hydrogen and nitrogen

The periodic table is a chart of all the known elements, arranged by their atomic structure. The elements are organized into rows, called periods, and columns, called groups.

The position of hydrogen and nitrogen in the periodic table is determined by their atomic number. Hydrogen has an atomic number of 1, while nitrogen has an atomic number of 7. The periodic table is organized so that elements with similar properties are grouped together. 

 Hydrogen is in group 1 and nitrogen is in group 15. Both groups are called the main groups or families. The elements in these groups tend to have similar properties.

The position of an element on the periodic table can tell us a lot about its physical and chemical properties. For example, hydrogen and nitrogen are both non-metals, which tend to be poor conductors of heat and electricity. 

This difference is due to the number of valence electrons each element has: hydrogen has only one valence electron, while nitrogen has five. A periodic table is a powerful tool for understanding the properties of the elements, and hydrogen and nitrogen are two essential members of this important chart.

What is a Covalent Compound?

A covalent compound is a chemical compound in which atoms are held together by shared electrons. In other words, covalent bonds are formed when atoms share electrons in order to fill their outermost shells. Covalent bonds can be single, double, or triple, depending on how many electrons are shared. In a single bond, two electrons are shared; in a double bond, four electrons are shared; and in a triple bond, six electrons are shared.

The strength of the bond depends on the number of electrons that are shared. 

Covalent compounds can be either linear or nonlinear. Linear molecules have atoms arranged in a straight line, while nonlinear molecules have atoms arranged in a three-dimensional shape.

Covalent Bond Condition

Covalent compounds are formed when two atoms share electrons in order to fill their outer shells. In order for this to happen, both atoms must have a high ionization potential, meaning that they are unlikely to give up their electrons.

Additionally, both atoms must have a high electron affinity, or a strong desire to acquire additional electrons.

Finally, the electronegativity difference between the two atoms must be zero or negligible. If the difference is too great, then one atom will be strongly attracted to the shared electrons while the other will be repelled, and no compound will be formed. By meeting all of these conditions, two atoms can form a stable, covalent bond.

Why is Ammonia NH3 a covalent compound?

The explanations above, also clear that the

  • Single bond formation is represented by a single line (–).
  • A covalent bond may also be formed by the contribution of two or three electrons.

Let us examine the formation of an ammonia molecule NH3. In this case, the three hydrogen atoms with one nitrogen atom combine to produce ammonia.

NH3 Covalent bond

What we are seeing over here is– Each hydrogen atom (Z=1) is short of one electron to attain a stable configuration of helium. Whereas nitrogen having the atomic number Z= 7 needs three more electrons to have a stable configuration of argon. They can fulfill requirements if they make a covalent bond.

Each of them contributes one electron to form a commonly shared pair. By doing so, all three hydrogen atoms and one nitrogen atom complete their octet and are generally represented by and closing dots around the symbol by a circle or eclipse.

Overall, no doubt, the Lewis dot structure is a powerful method to understand the formation of a molecule to a greater extent. However, this structure has a number of limitations. Further scientists have improved the way of explaining the formation of molecules in their own developed methodology.

electronegativity difference of nitrogen and hydrogen

NH3 is a molecule made up of three atoms of nitrogen and one atom of hydrogen.

One of the key properties of nitrogen and hydrogen is their electronegativity. Electronegativity is a measure of an atom’s ability to attract electrons to itself. Nitrogen’s electronegativity is 3.0, and hydrogen is 2.1. This means that nitrogen is more electronegative than hydrogen. As a result, when these two elements form a compound, the nitrogen will tend to “pull” the electrons away from the hydrogen. This can have a big impact on the properties of the compound.


The hybridization of NH3 is determined by the types of atoms that make up the molecule and their respective electronegativities.

The higher the electronegativity of an atom, the more it will pull electrons away from other atoms. In NH3, the electronegativity of the nitrogen atoms is higher than that of the hydrogen atom. As a result, the electron pairs are not evenly distributed around the molecule, and the molecule has a dipole moment.

dipole moment and Hybridization of NH3

The dipole moment of NH3 is caused by the asymmetrical distribution of its electrons. The nitrogen atom has a higher electronegativity than the hydrogen atoms, so it causes the shared electrons to spend more time around itself. This creates a partial negative charge on the nitrogen atom and a partial positive charge on the hydrogen atoms. The overall dipole moment is directed from the hydrogen atoms to the nitrogen atom.

The dipole moment can be represented by an arrow, with the direction of the arrow indicating the direction of the net electrical charge. In NH3, the dipole moment points upwards, from the hydrogen atoms to the nitrogen atom. This results in a molecule that is polar.

The shape of NH3 is trigonal pyramidal. The bond angle is 107°. The length of the N-H bonds is 1.01 Å. The N-H bonds are polar covalent bonds. The dipole moment of NH3 is 1.47 D. The hybridization of the central atom, N, is sp3.

All the atoms are bonded to one another by single covalent bonds. The molecule has a trigonal pyramidal shape because there are four groups of electrons around the central atom, three of which are bonded pairs of electrons and one is a lone pair. The three bonded pairs take up more space than the lone pair, so they push the lone pair out to the side, resulting in a pyramid shape.

What are Ionic Compounds?

Ionic compounds are a type of chemical compound that is formed when ions (atom s with a net electric charge) are attracted to each other and held together by electrostatic forces. These compounds are usually made up of metals and non-metals. The metal atoms lose electrons to form cations (positively charged ions), while the non-metal atoms gain electrons to form anions (negatively charged ions). The oppositely charged ions are then attracted to each other, forming a lattice structure. Ionic compounds typically have high melting and boiling points due to the strong electrostatic forces between the ions.

They are also usually soluble in water. Some examples of ionic compounds include sodium chloride (table salt), calcium carbonate (chalk), and magnesium oxide.

Advantages of Ammonia as refrigerant

  1. Ammonia is environmentally compatible. It does not deplete ozone layer and does not contribute the global warming.
  2. It has superior thermodynamic qualities as a result ammonia refrigeration systems use less electricity.
  3. Ammonia has a recognizable odour and so leaks are not likely to escape.

Ammonia has some disadvantages. It is not compatible with copper, so it cannot be used in any system with copper pipes. Ammonia is poisonous in high concentration although it is easily detectable due to its peculiar smell and also being lighter than air goes up in the atmosphere not affecting life too much on earth.

Ammonia solution is used as an important laboratory reagent in the qualitative analysis as it gives characteristic colored metallic hydroxide precipitates.


Applications of NH3 include:

– Ammonia is used as a fertilizer, either applied to the soil directly or used to produce other fertilizers such as urea or ammonium nitrate.

– Ammonia is used in the production of explosives, plastics, dyes, and other chemicals.

– Ammonia is used in the refrigeration industry as a coolant.

– Ammonia is used in some cleaning products as a degreaser or disinfectant.

– Ammonia is used in the production of nitric acid.

Ammonia NH3 Ionic or Covalent: faqs?

Is NH3 an ionic compound?

No, NH3 is not an ionic compound. It is a covalent compound.

Is NH4 covalent or ionic?

The NH4 ion is a cation, which means it is formed when a hydrogen atom loses its lone electron. Cations are always formed from metallic elements. Because NH4 is a cation, it is not an ionic compound. Ionic compounds are always formed from a cation and an anion.

What type of compound is ammonia NH3?

Ammonia is a chemical compound composed of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms.

Ammonia is a compound made up of nitrogen and hydrogen. It is classified as a weak base.

The compound has a molar mass of 17.031 g/mol and a density of 0.86 g/cm3. Ammonia is highly soluble in water and is often used as a household cleaner. It has a pungent, distinctive odor that can be detected at low concentrations. Ammonia is also an important industrial chemical, used in the manufacture of fertilizers, explosives, and textiles.

When mixed with chlorine, ammonia forms chloramine (NH2Cl), which is used as a disinfectant in swimming pools. Ammonia can also be used to make ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), a key ingredient in many fertilizers and explosives.

Is ammonia a covalent network?

Yes, ammonia is a covalent network. In a covalent network, the atoms are bonded together by strong covalent bonds. The atoms in the network share electrons equally, and they are held together by these strong bonds. This type of structure is very strong and it is difficult to break the bonds.

Ammonia has a very high boiling point because of the strength of the bonds in the network.

The electronegativity of the nitrogen atom is higher than that of the hydrogen atoms, so the electrons are not shared equally. This results in a dipole moment, which makes the ammonia molecule polar. The polarity of the molecule gives it some interesting properties, such as the fact that it is a good solvent for many ionic compounds. It can also act as an acid or a base, depending on the conditions.

Why is ammonia a compound?

Ammonia is a compound because it contains more than one type of element. In this case, ammonia contains nitrogen and hydrogen. Compounds are held together by chemical bonds, which are forces that keep the atoms in the compound together. It is composed of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms. The nitrogen and hydrogen atoms share electrons, which form a covalent bond. This type of bond is formed when two atoms share electrons.

The electrons are not shared equally, however, and the nitrogen atom has a greater share of the electrons than the hydrogen atoms do. This creates a polar bond, which means that the compound has a slightly negative charge on the side where the nitrogen atom is located and a slightly positive charge on the side where the hydrogen atoms are located. The opposite charges attract each other, which helps to keep the compound together.

Ammonia is sometimes called a hydroxide because it can act as an acid or a base. When it acts as an acid, it donates a hydrogen ion to another compound. When it acts as a base, it accepts a hydrogen ion from another compound. Ammonia is found in many household cleaning products because it is a good cleaner and disinfectant. It can also be used as a fertilizer for plants.

What is the structure of NH3?

The structure of NH3 is a trigonal pyramidal shape. The central nitrogen atom is bonded to three hydrogen atoms, one at each corner of the pyramid. The bonds between the nitrogen and hydrogen atoms are covalent bonds.

The chemical structure can be represented as follows:


The bond angles between the hydrogen atoms and the nitrogen atom are approximately 107.8°

The asymmetric shape of NH₃ is due to the fact that nitrogen is more electronegative than hydrogen, meaning that it has a higher affinity for electrons. This results in the formation of a dipole moment, which gives the molecule its shape.

NH3 is a colorless gas with a strong, unpleasant odor. It is soluble in water and insoluble in most other liquids. NH3 is flammable and will burn in air if ignited. It is also corrosive and will react with many metals to form hydroxides and oxides.

NH3 is produced commercially by the Haber-Bosch process, which involves the reaction of nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas at high temperatures and pressures.

What type of bond will occur in NH3?

The type of bond that will occur in NH3 is covalent. Covalent bonds are formed when atoms share electrons. In NH3, the nitrogen atom will share electrons with the three hydrogen atoms. This creates a strong bond between the atoms and makes NH3 a gas.

is ammonia covalent is a gas not a solid?

Ammonia is a gas at room temperature and pressure, but it can be condensed to a liquid or solid by cooling or compressing it. Ammonia is often found in household cleaning products as a dissolved gas in water. When mixed with water, ammonia forms an aqueous solution. Aqueous solutions of ammonia have a pH of 11.6 and are corrosive.

At lower temperatures, ammonia can exist as a white crystalline solid or as a blue liquid. The solid form of ammonia is known as “anhydrous ammonia” while the liquid form is known as “aqua ammonia.” Ammonia has a strong smell and is very poisonous. Inhaling high concentrations of ammonia can cause serious respiratory problems, and skin contact can cause burns. Ammonia is also flammable and explosive.

What’s More and Similar


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.