I have a simple question. I've looked on the internet and the only thing I found was the Anammox process - Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation. Wikipedia lists the reaction as:

$$\ce{NH4+} +\ce{NO2-}\rightarrow\ce{N2}+\ce{2H2O}$$

But only a few bactetria perform this process. I am looking for actual laboratory reagents that can oxidize ammonium ion to dinitrogen gas. My professor said that neither $\ce{KMnO4}$ nor $\ce{K2Cr2O7}$ can do the oxidation, and that one would have to use bleaching powder or $\ce{XeF2}$ instead. However I could NOT confirm his claim on the internet. Thus, I wish to know a list of such reagents which can do what I wish to. Thank you!

  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_nitrite $\endgroup$
    – permeakra
    Dec 27, 2017 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @permeakra Thanks for your comment! Though it seems like a special case of the above Anammox process I mentioned above, as it can take place without those nasty bacteria, while the original reactive ions (ammonium and nitrite) remain the same. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2017 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ Bromine does that. $\ce{2 NH3 + 3 Br2 -> N2 + 6 HBr}$. Because the $\ce{HBr}$ that is generated reacts with ammonia, some of the ammonia is of course not converted to nitrogen, but to ammonium bromide. $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2017 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ @user6376297 Wow, that's kinda surprising because among the halogens, generally fluorine is the best oxidizing agent (as it even forms $\ce{XeF6}$). Do fluorine and chlorine also give the same reaction? And what about their elder brother, iodine? $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2017 at 14:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Any reaction of ammonia and halogenes is not advised. Halogennitrides may form, and they are explosive. Halogeneamines are not healthy substances either. $\endgroup$
    – permeakra
    Dec 27, 2017 at 20:52


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