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2NH3 <--> NH4+ + NH2-

In liquid ammonia the reaction represented above occurs. In the reaction, what does the NH4+ act as?

A catalyst? And acid & a base? the conjugate acid of NH3? The reducing agent? The oxidizing agent?

  • Chem -

    Not a catalyst. N has the same oxiation state on both sides; therefore, it can't be oxidized or reduced or an oxidizing or reducing agent. This reaction is like the ionization of water. Look at what it does.
    H2O + H2O ==> H3O^+ + OH^-.
    One molecule of H2O has acted as a base (to form the H3O^+ ion) and the other molecule of H2O has acted as an acid (donating that H^+ to the first molecule of H2O). Isn't that what NH3 has done?
    NH3 + NH3 ==> NH4^+ + NH2^-

    If #1 NH3 has accepted a proton, to become the NH4^+ ion, then #1 ammonia must be the _______ and NH4+ must be the conjugate _________.

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