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Ammonium Chloride vs. Sodium Chloride: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 18, 2023
Ammonium chloride (NH₄Cl) is a volatile salt used in fertilizers and medicines, while sodium chloride (NaCl) is a stable, edible salt used in cooking and industry.

Key Differences

Ammonium chloride is composed of ammonia (NH₄) and chlorine (Cl), forming NH₄Cl. Sodium chloride, on the other hand, consists of sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl), resulting in NaCl. While both contain chlorine, their other components significantly affect their properties and uses.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023
Ammonium chloride appears as white crystals or powder and has a strong ammonia smell. It's volatile, meaning it can easily turn into gas. Sodium chloride, commonly known as table salt, also appears as white crystals but lacks any strong odor and is non-volatile.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023
Ammonium chloride is used in fertilizers, cough medicine, and as a flux in metalworking. Sodium chloride's primary use is as a seasoning and preservative in food, but it also plays a significant role in de-icing roads and in industrial applications.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
Both ammonium chloride and sodium chloride are soluble in water, but their reactions differ. Ammonium chloride can react with strong bases to release ammonia gas, while sodium chloride remains relatively stable.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023
Ammonium chloride can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory system and should be handled with care. Sodium chloride is generally safe but can cause health issues if consumed in excessive amounts.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Formula

NH₄Cl
NaCl
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Odor

Pungent (ammonia-like)
Odorless
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Volatility

Volatile
Non-volatile
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Primary Use

Fertilizers, Medicine, Metalwork
Cooking, De-icing, Industry
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Reaction with Strong Bases

Releases ammonia gas
Remains stable
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023
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Ammonium Chloride and Sodium Chloride Definitions

Ammonium Chloride

A laboratory reagent.
Ammonium chloride was used to adjust the pH in a chemical experiment.
Harlon Moss
Dec 01, 2023

Sodium Chloride

A preservative in food industry.
Sodium chloride is used to extend the shelf life of canned goods.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Ammonium Chloride

A component in dry cell batteries.
Ammonium chloride is used in the electrolyte of dry cell batteries.
Harlon Moss
Dec 01, 2023

Sodium Chloride

An agent for de-icing roads.
The city spread sodium chloride on roads to melt the ice.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Ammonium Chloride

A flux in metalworking.
The welder used ammonium chloride as a flux to clean the metal surfaces.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Sodium Chloride

A white, crystalline substance, commonly known as table salt.
She sprinkled sodium chloride over her meal for extra flavor.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Ammonium Chloride

A white crystalline salt used in fertilizers.
The farmer used ammonium chloride as a nitrogen source for his crops.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Sodium Chloride

A component in saline solutions.
Sodium chloride is mixed with water to create saline for medical purposes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Ammonium Chloride

An expectorant in cough medicine.
Ammonium chloride is often found in cough syrups to ease bronchial discomfort.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

Sodium Chloride

An electrolyte in sports drinks.
The sports drink contained sodium chloride to replenish electrolytes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

Are both compounds soluble in water?

Yes, both are water-soluble.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Can ammonium chloride be used in food?

It's not commonly used in food due to its ammonia content.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Is sodium chloride safe for consumption?

Yes, in moderation, as it's essential for human health.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

What is ammonium chloride?

A white crystalline chemical compound used in various applications like fertilizers and medicines.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

What is sodium chloride?

Commonly known as table salt, it's used in cooking, as a preservative, and in industrial applications.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Is ammonium chloride harmful?

It can be irritating if inhaled or contacted with skin.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Does sodium chloride have any environmental impacts?

Excessive use can affect soil and water salinity.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Is ammonium chloride volatile?

Yes, it can release ammonia gas.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Are there health risks associated with sodium chloride?

Excessive intake can lead to health issues like hypertension.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Where is sodium chloride most commonly found?

In households and kitchens as table salt.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Can sodium chloride be used for cleaning?

Yes, especially as a de-icing agent on roads.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Are both compounds used in medicine?

Ammonium chloride is used in some cough medicines; sodium chloride in saline solutions.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Where does sodium chloride come from?

Mainly from sea water and rock salt deposits.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

What is the primary use of ammonium chloride?

It's widely used in agriculture as a nitrogen source in fertilizers.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

What industries use ammonium chloride?

Agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and metalworking.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

What's the difference in their chemical formulas?

Ammonium chloride is NH₄Cl, sodium chloride is NaCl.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Is ammonium chloride found naturally?

Yes, in volcanic areas and burning coal seams.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Can both compounds be mixed together?

They can, but the resulting mixture's properties depend on the intended use.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Is sodium chloride essential for the human body?

Yes, it's vital for maintaining fluid balance and nerve function.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Can ammonium chloride be used in batteries?

Yes, particularly in dry cell batteries.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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