Title: Ammonia in the Environment: from Ancient Times to the Present
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION vol. 156 p. 583-604
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC44927
ISSN: 0269-7491
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC44927
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.03.013
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Recent research on atmospheric ammonia has made good progress in quantifying sources/sinks and environmental impacts. This paper reviews the achievements and places them in their historical context. It considers the role of ammonia in the development of agricultural science and air chemisty, showing how these arose out of foundations in 18thC chemistry and medieval alchemy, and then identifies the original environmental sources from which the ancients obtained ammonia. Ammonia is revealed as a compound of key human interest through the centuries, with a central role played by sal ammoniac in alchemy and the emergence of modern science. The review highlights how recent environmental research has emphasized volatilization sources of ammonia. Conversely, the historical records emphasize the role of high-temperature sources, including dung burning, coal burning, naturally burning coal seams and volcanoes. Present estimates of ammonia and ammonium emissions from these sources are based on few measurements, which should be a future priority. Five Keywords: emissions, deposition, sal ammoniac, nushadir, nao sha Capsule: Historical review highlights the need for more attention on ammonia emissions
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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