Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Acid, Gasses and Enzymes

Name: Anirudh
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: NY
Country: India
Date: Winter 2011-2012

We were synthesizing Ammonia gas using HCl acid, as a part of the class experiment, for studying its chemical properties and that's when it hit me! Our body produces gases and acids like these (eg: Urea) during various metabolic process, which seems impossible because these gases & acids require very high temperatures (~200'C) for their synthesis and the maximum our body can do is 37'C. So how a human body is able to produce gasses and acids like Ammonia, Hydrogen Sulfide, HCl and others at body temperature?

It would help to know the reaction you are using to synthesize ammonia gas (NH3), a base, using HCl, an acid. But putting that aside, realize that there are many reactions that have ammonia as a product. Some of these reactions require high temperature, but many other reactions do not require elevated temperature. What I believe you are thinking about is the reaction of formation of a compound, that is, the formation of a compound, in this case NH3, from its constituent elements -- N2 and H2 -- 1/2 N2 + 3/2 H2 = NH3.

Vince Calder

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory