NH3 Lewis Structure

NH3 Lewis Dot Structure

NH3 periodic table lewis structure

To write the NH3 Lewis Structure, we need to understand the formation of NH3.

The most important feature of this bond, also called electron pair bond, is that the electrons are held tightly and shared equally (jointly) by neighboring atoms.

Some element atoms form a more stable structure by sharing one or two electrons with neighboring atoms.

For example, nitrogen (N) with atomic number 7 has 5 electrons in its outer shell and it needs 3 more electrons to fill this shell.

On the other hand, the hydrogen (H) atom has only 1 electron in its outer shell.

That is, 1 N atom shares the electrons of 3 H atoms, in turn, it shares its 3 electrons with H atoms, forming the compound ammonia (NH3). Here is NH3 Lewis Structure:

Ammonia Lewis Structure

Lewis Structure of Ammonia

If you want to draw Lewis structure of Ammonia, you should use the 4 steps technique. Here are the 4 steps to draw Lewis dot structure of Ammonia:

  • Calculate valence electrons
  • Calculate total electron pairs
  • Find the center atom
  • Calculate lone pairs and charges

Valence electrons of NH3

Let’s start with valence electrons. Nitrogen has 5 valence electrons while hydrogen has 1 valence electron. In total, NH3 has 8 valence electrons.

Total Electron Pairs of NH3

Total electron pairs can be calculated by dividing total valence electrons by 2. So, the total electron pairs of NH3 is 4.

Center Atom of NH3

Center atom of NH3 is nitrogen.

Lone Pairs and Charges of NH3

NH3 has 1 lone pair because Hydrogen needs 2 valence electrons in total and 3 hydrogen atoms share 6 valence electrons. 2 electrons are left to form a lone pair. Charges of NH3 is zero.

Now, we can draw the NH3 Lewis Structure or with its other name Ammonia Lewis Structure:

Ammonia Lewis Dot Structure

What is NH3?

Ammonia (NH3) is used in industry and commerce and also occurs naturally in humans and the environment. Ammonia is essential for many biological processes and acts as a precursor for amino acid and nucleotide synthesis. In the environment, ammonia is part of the nitrogen cycle and is produced from bacterial processes in the soil. Ammonia is also produced naturally from the decomposition of organic matter, including plants, animals, and animal waste.

Some of the chemical/physical properties of ammonia are:

At room temperature, ammonia is a colorless, highly irritating gas with a pungent, suffocating odour.
In its pure form it is known as anhydrous ammonia and is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture easily).
Ammonia has alkaline properties and is corrosive.
Ammonia gas dissolves easily in water to form ammonium hydroxide, a caustic solution and a weak base.
Ammonia gas is easily compressed and forms a clear liquid under pressure.
Ammonia is usually shipped as a compressed liquid in steel containers.
Ammonia is not highly flammable, but ammonia containers can explode when exposed to high heat.

What is it used for?

About 80% of the ammonia produced in industry is used as fertilizer in agriculture. Ammonia is also used as a refrigerant for the treatment of water supplies and in the manufacture of plastics, explosives, textiles, pesticides, paints and other chemicals. It is found in many household and industrial strength cleaning solutions. Household ammonia cleaning solutions are produced by adding ammonia gas to water and may contain between 5% and 10% ammonia. Ammonia solutions for industrial use can be in concentrations of 25% or higher and are corrosive. NH3 Lewis Structure can be drawn easily. You can find Lewis Structure for NH3 just above.

Most people are exposed to ammonia by breathing in gas or vapors. Because ammonia is naturally present and is also found in cleaning products, exposure may occur from these sources. The widespread use of ammonia on farms and in industrial and commercial settings also means that exposure can result from accidental release or from a deliberate terrorist attack.

Anhydrous ammonia gas is lighter than air and rises, so it generally diffuses and does not precipitate in low-lying areas. However, in the presence of humidity (such as high relative humidity), liquefied anhydrous ammonia gas forms vapors heavier than air. These vapors can spread along floors or in low-lying areas with poor airflow where people may be exposed.

When ammonia comes into contact with moisture present in the skin, eyes, oral cavity, respiratory tract, and especially on mucous surfaces, it immediately reacts to form very caustic ammonium hydroxide. Ammonium hydroxide causes necrosis of tissues through degradation (saponification) of cell membrane lipids, leading to cellular destruction. As cell proteins break down, water is extracted, causing an inflammatory response that causes further damage.

Inhalation of ammonia can cause nasopharyngeal and tracheal burns, bronchiolar and alveolar edema, and airway destruction leading to respiratory distress or failure.

The odor threshold of ammonia is low enough to provide adequate warning of its acute presence (odor threshold = 5 ppm; OSHA PEL = 50 ppm). However, ammonia causes olfactory fatigue or adaptation, making its presence difficult to detect when exposure is prolonged. Anhydrous ammonia is lighter than air and therefore rises (does not precipitate in low areas); however, vapors from liquefied gas are initially heavier than air and can spread throughout the ground. Suffocation can occur in poorly ventilated or confined spaces.

Children exposed to the same levels of ammonia vapor as adults may receive higher doses because they have larger lung surface area:body weight ratios and increased minute volumes:weight ratios. In addition, due to their short stature and high ammonia vapor levels close to the ground, they may be exposed to higher levels than adults in the same location.

If you want to learn more Lewis Structures other than NH3 Lewis Structure, check our page.

What is Lewis Dot Structure?

CO Lewis Structure

CO2 Lewis Structure

H2O Lewis Structure

Lewis Structure for Aluminum

NH4 Lewis Structure