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[L. sal ammoniacum, ult. fr. Ammon, Egyptian deity near whose temple it was originally obtained]
An alkaline gas, NH3, formed by decomposition of nitrogen-containing substances such as proteins and amino acids. Ammonia is converted into urea in the liver. It is related to many poisonous substances but also to the proteins and many useful chemicals. Dissolved in water, it neutralizes acids and turns litmus paper blue.