Volatile alkali

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ammonia, so called in distinction from the fixed alkalies.
(Old Chem.) See under Alkali.

See also: Alkali, Volatile

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Desperate 'to restore the activity of the vital functions, which the cold seemed to have nearly stopped', Burchell made as strong a mixture of volatile alkali *** as he dared; he confessed that volatile alkali was in danger of becoming his panacea for all serious conditions.
A volatile alkali, such as ammonium hydroxide, is added to perms which dissipates during the process to reduce the basicity of the solution.