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Name asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 10 years ago

Why is ammonia soluble?

specifically, why would (NH4)2CO3 soluble in water, seeing as none of its compounds are metals?

4 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because water is a polar substance, and would pull off individual molecules of the solid. Much easier to draw out than explain, but I'll do my best. Picture dropping a clump of the solid you've mentioned above into water. The clump contains a whole bunch of (NH4)2CO3 (ammonium carbonate) molecules. The oxygen in a molecule of water is highly electronegative, therefore attracts positive things to it and can donate one of it's lone pairs of electrons to form a bond to a positive item. The hydrogen molecules off the nitrogens in ammonium carbonate have are slightly positive, because nitrogen is electronegative and pulls electron density towards it. The electronegative oxygen atoms in each water molecule will be attracted to each of the hydrogen molecules in ammonium carbonate, and pull the molecules off the solid into the water. The solid will dissolve as all the molecules are pulled towards water molecules and away from each other.

    Source(s): Bachelor of Science in biology, took organic and advanced organic chemistry as electives.
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Metals aren't soluble in water - but their ions are. The reason that metals like sodium are soluble in water is because they can form ions, not because they're metals. Consider salt, NaCl. Sodium chloride is obviously soluble in water. The main reason for this is that NaCl consists of Na+ and Cl- ions, and water is very good at hydrating ions. This is why salts of metals - things like potassium nitrate, copper chloride, and iron nitrate - are usually soluble in water.

    In the case of ammonium carbonate, (NH4)2CO3, both NH4+ and CO3 2- are ions, so the compound dissolves readily in water.

  • Mark
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Ionic compounds are disrupted in the presence of water. The unique configuration of the water molecule allows this to happen. While balanced the water molecule has a weak north and south pole. The electrons start to jump around a bit as anions and cations feel the tug from all the water molecules.

  • 10 years ago

    both the carbonate anion and the ammonium cation are a)charged (therefore likely soluble in polar solvent such as water) and b) can h-bond with water molecules

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