A white rhombic solid, (NH4)2SO4; r.d. 1.77; decomposes at 235°C. It is very soluble in water and insoluble in ethanol. It occurs naturally as the mineral mascagnite. Ammonium sulphate was formerly manufactured from the ‘ammoniacal liquors’ produced during coal-gas manufacture but is now produced by the direct reaction between ammonia gas and sulphuric acid. It is decomposed by heating to release ammonia (and ammonium hydrogensulphate) and eventually water, sulphur dioxide, and ammonia. Vast quantities of ammonium sulphate are used as fertilizers.