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sulfate (IUPAC-recommended spelling; also ammonium Sulphate in British
English), (NH4)2SO4, is an inorganic salt with a number of commercial
uses. The most common use is as a soil fertilizer. It contains 21%
nitrogen as ammonium cations, and 24% sulfur as sulfate anions.
sulfate is well known for the first order phase transition which occurs
upon cooling through 224 K (at room pressure) from a para-electric
crystal (space group Pnam, Z=4) to a ferro-electric crystal.
sulfate is made by treating ammonia, often as a by-product from
coke-ovens, with sulfuric acid-2 NH3 + H2SO4 = (NH4)2SO4.
sulfate also is manufactured from gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O). Finely divided
gypsum is added to an ammonium carbonate solution. Calcium carbonate
precipitates as a solid, leaving ammonium sulfate in the
solution-(NH4)2CO3 + CaSO4 =(NH4)2SO4 + CaCO3.
sulfate occurs naturally as the rare mineral mascagnite in volcanic
fumaroles and due to coal fires on some dumps.
sulfate is a widely used reagent in molecular biology and
chromatography. Applications include the precipitation and fractionation
of proteins, purification of antibodies, crystallization of proteins,
protein-nucleic acid complexes, and of nucleic acids. Ammonium sulfate
is also widely used in HPLC of proteins, such as in hydrophobic
sulfate is being considered as a fire-retardant chemical for cellulose
insulation.It is also used for Sepharose chromatography of RNAs using
reverse salt gradients.
primary use of ammonium sulfate is as a fertilizer for alkaline soils.
In the soil the ammonium ion is released and forms a small amount of
acid, lowering the pH balance of the soil, while contributing essential
nitrogen for plant growth.
also used as an agricultural spray adjuvant for water soluble
insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
A solution containing dissolved ammonium sulfate is often added to
post-emergence herbicide sprays to improve their effectiveness at weed
control. A high purity grade of ammonium sulfate is often used for this
purpose to avoid plugging spray nozzles.
produced as a byproduct from the caprolactam oxidation process stream
and the rearrangement reaction stream.
commonly added to bread products as a dough conditioner. It is also a
component in fire extinguisher powder and flame-proofing agents. It is
used for many applications in the chemical, wood pulp, textile and
sulfate is also utilized in the purification of antibodies. The use of
ammonium sulfate in long PCR buffer, in PCR lysis solution and in
second-strand DNA synthesis.
for separating ammonium sulfate from an aqueous solution of ammonium
bisulfate where the aqueous solution additionally contains organics from
a synthesis reaction. Separation is effected by the addition of an
alcohol, preferably methanol, to the aqueous solution in an amount
sufficient to precipitate substantially all of the ammonium sulfate and
thereafter removing said precipitate from the solution.
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