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Sodium dithionite reducing properties of nh3

  1. Dec 15, 2014 #1
    What would be the reducing reaction for these in water?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2014 #2

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    This probably belongs in the homework section. What are your thoughts so far?
     
  4. Dec 15, 2014 #3
    Ok sorry. I believe this is used in some water conditioners to make water safe for aquatic livestock.

    There is a particular product that renders nh3 to it's non toxic ionised state nh4. I was told this product was a a reducing agent. I looked up reducing agents and found that a reducing agent is an electron donor yet nh4 is the protonised form of nh3.

    I'm not a scientist I am just seeking some basic info on how reducing agents work.
     
  5. Dec 15, 2014 #4

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    "Non-toxic?" Depends on "context" and the anion (you don't find single ionic species in solution --- I'm reasonably certain you know that), nitrate and/or nitrite are blamed for "blue babies," just about any ammonium salts are implicated in gouty arthritis. Free ammonia in solution implies fairly high pH which is trouble for most aquatic beasties. Phosphoric acid is (if memory serves) the usual additive for dropping pH in aquaria. Bottom line, there's not a whole lot of redox chemistry for ammonia/ammonium in aquaria that does not involve bacterial activity to generate nitrite and nitrate.
    Oxidizers remove electrons (or accept electrons --- difference between armed robbery and a bribe) from other chemical species and are reduced in the process. Reducing agents give up electrons to other chemical compounds, and are in the process oxidized.

    Some chemicals, families of chemicals, have many oxidation states, others have only one or two. Dithionate is one of many states for sulfur. The family tree runs from sulfide (-2) through sulfate (+6) to peroxydisulfate (+7?), and there are literally more than a dozen steps along the way, thiosulfate, dithionate that take a scorecard for me to keep track of.
     
  6. Dec 15, 2014 #5
    Well this product claims to turn ammonia in to ammonium which is less toxic to aquatic beasties. I know that ph and temperature affect the toxicity percentage of free ammonia and ammonium in aquaria. I was just curious how the product does this. Their website claims that the ingredients are complex hydrosulphite salts. Was just curious how it does it. It also reduces chlorine and nitrite and nitrate. I know that it's the bacterial activity that converts ammonia through to nitrate. Etc

    Like I said I'm not a scientist, just curious. Perhaps I came to the wrong place?
     
  7. Dec 15, 2014 #6
  8. Dec 15, 2014 #7

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    Good guess --- that's the first aid wash for halogen burns (excepting fluorine) in the lab. It's a reducing agent, gets oxidized by the Cl giving you Cl- which is reasonably innocuous.
     
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