Ammonia - NH3



Ammonia is a colorless, pungent smelling gas composed of nitrogen and hydrogen with the chemical formula NH3. Anhydrous Ammonia is considered highly pure Ammonia with very little water.  Ammonia gas can be compressed to become a liquid under pressure.  


Ammonia emissions are present across a variety of industries including agricultural, fertilizer, semiconductor, chemical production, livestock production, municipal sewage, food and beverage processing and storage.   Anhydrous Ammonia is very commonly used in refrigeration facilities for food processors and distributors.  

Health and Environmental Effects

Ammonia is corrosive, irritating to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. It is highly hazardous in great concentrations.  Accidental releases of stored ammonia have occurred in the past at ammonia refrigeration facilities, causing serious equipment damage, loss of inventory, loss of production, injury, and even death to workers from excessive exposure.   Emergency Ammonia Scrubbers can be designed and installed to help mitigate the risk of accidental exposure to ammonia during an accidental release.  

Ammonia Odor Threshold = 5 ppmv.
Ammonia IDLH Value = 300 ppmv.

Regulatory Considerations

The US EPA has published a Risk Management Program to provide guidance for Ammonia Refrigeration Facilities. 

OSHA PEL = 25 ppm.  The US EPA is considering regulating Ammonia emissions under the Clean Air Act, and is specifically focusing on emissions from the livestock industry.  

Control Technologies

HEIL Series 730 Counter-Current packed tower scrubbers are the most common technology for high efficiency scrubbing of Ammonia.  Heil Series 770 Water Jet Eductor scrubbers are also specified in certain applications.   Aqueous acidic solutions of Sulfuric Acid are commonly used to scrub Ammonia, creating a byproduct of Ammonium Sulfate.  Ammonium Sulfate is an ingredient often used in fertilizers, and therefore may have a marketable value.    Heil Ammonia Scrubbers can achieve removal efficiencies greater than 99.9%.  

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Contact Information

ECS Industrial

2201 Taylors Valley Road,
             Belton, TX 76513

(888) 254-3966   Fax: 440-327-7088