Ammonium bicarbonate is also known with other names such as acid ammonium carbonate, ammonium hydrogen carbonate. It is a weak base and commonly used as a reagent in industries and for research procedures. Large quantities of ammonium bicarbonate used in the manufacture of porous plastics, ceramics, dyes, and pigments and it is also used as a foaming agent in the development of macroporous hydroxyapatite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.
Ammonium bicarbonate is a white crystalline powder with hygroscopic nature and hence it is packed in air tight bags. Usually it liberates Carbon dioxide (CO2) and hence used in the baking industry. It plays an important role in giving texturing the crumb structure and leavening of the food items. It also increases shelf life of the edible items and does not spoil flavor, leaves no residual odour.
Ammonium bicarbonate slowly decomposes in the atmosphere and gives a faint ammonia smell. On decomposition it also gives carbon dioxide, and water. When it is used as a pesticide active ingredient, it acts as a feeding attractant for insects.
In most of the food industries such as such as cookies and crackers, steamed buns and Chinese almond cookies, this compound is used as a raising agent for flat baked goods. It is commonly used chemical in the home before modern day baking powder was made available. The edible or food-grade compound is as also known as “smelly powder”. In many cases it may be substituted with baking soda. Compared to baking soda or potash, this compound produces more carbon dioxide gas for the same amount of agent further it will not leaving any salty or soapy taste in the finished food items as it completely decomposes into water and gaseous products which evaporate during baking.
Apart from the baking industries this common chemical is also used in the manufacturing of dyes and different pigments, De-greasing of textiles items, Blowing-agent for making rubber foam products. It is also used for making cooling baths, in Ceramic industry it is used to make light weight brick production, Catalyst manufacture and smelling salt mixed with oil of lavender.
It is very commonly used in pharmaceutical industry, florescent powder, as a fertilizer. In pollution control it is used for higher chromium uptake in chrome tanning.