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Ammonium nitrate

Chemical Name:
Ammonium nitrate
Ammoniumnitrat;AMMONIA NITRATE;nitram;varioformi;hercoprills;mercoprills;caswellno.045;nitratoamonico;germansaltpeter;Azanium nitrate
Molecular Formula:
Molecular Weight:
MDL Number:
MOL File:
Last updated:2023-04-23 13:52:06

Ammonium nitrate Properties

Melting point 169 °C(lit.)
Boiling point 210 °C(lit.)
Density 1.72
Flash point 210°C
storage temp. Store at RT.
solubility H2O: 1 M at 20 °C, clear, colorless
form Solid
Specific Gravity 1.725
color White
PH 4.5-6.0 (25℃, 50mg/mL in H2O)
Water Solubility 190 g/100 mL (20 ºC)
Merck 14,534
CAS DataBase Reference 6484-52-2(CAS DataBase Reference)
Indirect Additives used in Food Contact Substances AMMONIUM NITRATE
FDA 21 CFR 176.180
EWG's Food Scores 2
EPA Substance Registry System Ammonium nitrate (6484-52-2)


Risk and Safety Statements

Symbol(GHS)  GHS hazard pictogramsGHS hazard pictograms
Signal word  Warning
Hazard statements  H272-H319
Precautionary statements  P210-P220-P264-P280-P305+P351+P338-P337+P313
Hazard Codes  O,Xi
Risk Statements  8-36/37/38-9
Safety Statements  17-26-36-37/39-41-16-15
RIDADR  UN 1942 5.1/PG 3
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  BR9050000
HazardClass  5.1
PackingGroup  III
HS Code  31023090
Toxicity LD50 orally in Rabbit: 2462 mg/kg
NFPA 704
0 3

Ammonium nitrate Chemical Properties,Uses,Production

Brief Introduction

Ammonium nitrate, is a colorless rhombic or monoclinic crystal at room temperature. It can be decomposed into water and nitrous oxide at 210 ° C. Upon severe heating at 300 ℃ above, it is subject to decomposition into nitrogen, oxygen and water. It is soluble in water, methanol and ethanol. It dissolution in water can absorb a lot of heat and reduce the temperature. It is one of the major nitrogen fertilizer varieties in the world today, accounting for about 3.5% of the total amount of nitrogen fertilizer in our country. The nitrogen form is nitrate, which belongs to the nitrate nitrogen fertilizer. In fact, ammonium nitrate both nitrate and ammonium nitrogen, but its nature is more similar to the nitrate nitrogen fertilizer.
Ammonium nitrate has no residue in the soil; and can be all absorbed by crops; being a physiological neutral fertilizer. Ammonium nitrate is suitable for a wide range of soils and crops but is most suitable for dry and dry crops especially suitable for cash crops such as tobacco, cotton and vegetables.
Ammonium nitrate should not be used as a basal fertilizer, because ammonium nitrate, after being applied to the soil, has its dissociated nitrate ions be easily leached into the soil. At the same time, ammonium nitrate should not be used seed manure because of its higher nutrient content, high hygroscopicity, which will affect the germination upon contact with seeds.
Ammonium nitrate, when applied in paddy field, can have its nitrogen content easily leached. Therefore, its efficiency is not comparable to other nitrogenous fertilizers of equal nitrogen content, being only equivalent to 50% -70% of that of ammonium sulfate with equal nitrogen content. The most ideal application is for topdressing, and is most suitable for top-dressing in dry land. The usage amount can be determined according to soil fertility and yield indicators. Should pay attention to the following points:

  • Do not mix with acid fertilizers (such as superphosphate) and alkaline fertilizers (such as ash, etc.) to prevent the reduction of fertilizer efficiency.
  • In the event of caking, gently crush it with sticks; avoid fiercely crushing it to prevent explosion.
  • Apply sealed packaging, pay attention to moisture, heat; store way from combustibles and oxidants.

Chemical Properties

Ammonium nitrate (AN) is an odorless, colorless or white, crystal salt produced by the reaction of ammonia and nitric acid. It was the first solid nitrogen (N) fertilizer produced on a large scale. It has been a common nitrogen source because it contains both nitrate and ammonium, and has a relatively high nutrient content. For some crops it is the most environmentally and economically viable N fertilizer.


Ammonium nitrate can be used directly or as an important component of many fertilizer mixtures. It provides a source of nitrogen to plants to increase growth and crop yields. Ammonium nitrate is a popular fertilizer since it provides half of the N in nitrate form and half in ammonium form. The nitrate form moves readily with soil water to the roots where it is immediately available for plant uptake. Ammonium nitrate is more popular than other nitrogen fertilizers for pasture and hay fertilization since it is less susceptible to volatilization or air losses when left on the soil. It is also valued by vegetable growers for its ability to provide an immediately available nitrate source of plant food.

Agricultural Use

Since plant roots do not directly absorb the urea form of N to a large extent, ammonium nitrate is an efficient and immediate source of plant nutrition. It provides half of the N in the nitrate form and half in the ammonium form. The nitrate form is mobile in the soil water and immediately available for plant uptake. The ammonium fraction is taken up if roots grow nearby or after it is converted to nitrate by soil microorganisms during nitrification.
Many farmers prefer an immediately available nitrate source for plant nutrition and choose ammonium nitrate as their N fertilizer. It is popular for pasture and broad acre crops since almost no ammonia volatilization losses occur, compared to urea-based fertilizers. Some 37 million metric tons (MMt) of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate are consumed worldwide annually in agriculture, of which about 14 MMt are used as CAN. Because of its high crop recovery, its ease of use, and its suitability for in-season top dressing, ammonium nitrate is widely used, especially in many European countries.


The manufacture of ammonium nitrate involves several major unit operations including solution formation and concentration; solids formation, finishing, screening, and coating; and product bagging and/or bulk shipping. In some cases, solutions may be blended for marketing as liquid fertilizers.
The number of operating steps employed depends on the end product desired. For example, plants producing ammonium nitrate solutions alone use only the solution formation, solution blending, and bulk shipping operations. Plants producing a solid ammonium nitrate product may employ all of the operations.
All ammonium nitrate plants produce an aqueous ammonium nitrate solution through the reaction of ammonia and nitric acid in a neutralizer as follows:
Approximately 60 percent of the ammonium nitrate produced in the U. S. is sold as a solid product. To produce a solid product, the ammonium nitrate solution is concentrated in an evaporator or concentrator. The resulting "melt" contains about 95 to 99.8 percent ammonium nitrate at approximately 149°C (300°F). This melt is then used to make solid ammonium nitrate products.

Extremely Insensitive Explosives

Ammonium nitrate is an extremely insensitive explosive that is more detrimental than the safe explosives c4. An industrial 8 # detonator (detonated c4 just 6 # on it) are not enough to detonate a mixture of sensitizer ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate is the most detonating nitric acid explosives with impact sensitivity being: 50kg hammer with 50cm drop height will not cause explosion. The impact sensitivity of the famous explosive nitroglycerin: 200 g hammer at 20cm high drop height will lead to 100% explosion. And once the ammonium nitrate is dissolved in water, the detonation sensitivity is greatly reduced, for which it is impossible to detonate the ammonium nitrate with human power.

potential hazards

Ammonium nitrate readily attracts moisture from the air, and for this reason, is often stored in air-conditioned warehouses or in sealed bags. Ammonium nitrate is considered non-flammable; a fire from ammonium nitrate is very unlikely. However, it is a strong oxidizing agent that can cause combustible materials (such as wood, paper and oil) to ignite. Only under extreme conditions of heat and pressure in a confined space will ammonium nitrate explode.


Ammonium nitrate is an oxidizer, which may explode under confinement and high temperatures. When mixed with fuel oil, a deflagrating explosive material is created. Ammonium nitrate and fuel oil were used as the explosive in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building terrorist attack in Oklahoma City and the first terror attack on the World Trade Center in New York City in the mid-1990s.

Chemical Properties

Ammonium nitrate,NH4N03, is a colorless crystalline solid existing in two forms, Between 16 and 32°C, the crystals are tetragonal; between 32 and 84 DC, the crystals are rhombic. The melting point of NH4N03 is 169.6 DC, and it decomposes above 210°C. When heated, ammonium nitrate yields nitrous oxide gas. Ammonium nitrate is soluble in water, in acetic acid solutions containing ammonia, is slightly soluble in ethanol, and is moderately soluble in methanol.
Ammoniwn nitrate
Ammonium nitrate is a very insensitive and stable high explosive used as a slow-burning propellant for rockets when compounded with burning rate catalysts. Although the major applications of Ammonium nitrate are explosives and fertilizers, it is also used in insecticides, rust inhibitors, and pyrotechnics.


Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3, also known as “Norway saltpeter”) is mainly used as a fertilizer. It is also known as the chemical that was mixed with diesel fuel to create the explosion that demolished the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.


Colorless crystals made by the action of ammonium hydroxide on nitric acid. Soluble in water, alcohol, and alkalies, ammonium nitrate is explosive and was used as a substitute for potassium nitrate in making flashlight mixtures.


Sold in a concentration of 27,5% N. Attributes Distributed by Agroline CH. Contact


Making nitrous oxide (laughing gas); in freezing mixtures, safety explosives, matches; pyrotechnics; in fertilizers.


ammonium nitrate: A colourlesscrystalline solid, NH4NO3; r.d. 1.72;m.p. 169.6°C; b.p. 210°C. It is verysoluble in water and soluble inethanol. The crystals are rhombicwhen obtained below 32°C andmonoclinic above 32°C. It may bereadily prepared in the laboratory bythe reaction of nitric acid with aqueousammonia. Industrially, it is manufacturedby the same reaction usingammonia gas. Vast quantities of ammoniumnitrate are used as fertilizers(over 20 million tonnes per year)and it is also a component of someexplosives.


ChEBI: The ammonium salt of nitric acid.

General Description

A colorless crystalline solid. Soluble in water. Does not readily burn but will do so if contaminated with combustible material. Accelerates the burning of combustible material. Produces toxic oxides of nitrogen during combustion. Used to make fertilizers and explosives, and as a nutrient in producing antibiotics and yeast.

Air & Water Reactions

Water soluble. Hot aqueous solutions of the nitrate above 50% conc., under confinement may decompose explosively. This process is aided catalytically with such substances as nitric acid and chloride ion, [Chem. Abs., 1982, 97, 78074].

Reactivity Profile

The hazards of AMMONIUM NITRATE have been well studied because of several extremely severe explosions [Chem. Eng., 1962, 70, 91; Bretherick, 5th Ed., 1995]. Mixtures with alkyl esters may explode, owing to the formation of alkyl nitrates. Mixtures with phosphorus, tin(II) chloride or other reducing agents may react explosively [Bretherick 1979 p. 108-109]. A mixture with aluminum powder (also zinc, cadmium, copper, magnesium, lead, cobalt, nickel, bismuth, chromium, and antimony) can be used as an explosive. A number of explosions in which ammonium nitrate and aluminum were mixed with carbon or hydrocarbons, with or without oxidizing agents have occurred [Mellor 5:219 1946-47]. A mixture with acetic acid ignites when warmed, especially if concentrated [Von Schwartz p. 322 1918]. Causes the decomposition of sodium hypochlorite within a few seconds [Mellor 2 Supp. 1:550 1956].


May explode under confinement and high temperatures, but not readily detonated. Ventilate well. To fight fire, use large amounts of water. The material must be kept as cool as possible and removed from confinement and flooded with water in event of fire.

Health Hazard

Inhalation, ingestion or contact (skin, eyes) with vapors or substance may cause severe injury, burns or death. Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.

Fire Hazard

These substances will accelerate burning when involved in a fire. Some may decompose explosively when heated or involved in a fire. May explode from heat or contamination. Some will react explosively with hydrocarbons (fuels). May ignite combustibles (wood, paper, oil, clothing, etc.). Containers may explode when heated. Runoff may create fire or explosion hazard.

Flammability and Explosibility

Non flammable

Agricultural Uses

Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) is among the most common nitrogenous fertilizers, with half of its nitrogen in an ammoniacal form and the rest in nitrate form.
The nitrogen from ammonium nitrate is immediately available to plants, whereas the ammoniacal nitrogen becomes available only after its nitration. Fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate solution in water containing 20% nitrogen is sold in large quantities, because of its high water solubility and easy soil applicability. The fertilizer can also be used in its compound forms, such as calcium ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate nitrate.
The nitrogen in ammonium nitrate is more rapidly available than that in urea or ammonium sulphate. Crops take up nitrogen mainly in the form of nitrate. The ammoniacal nitrogen must be converted to nitrate in the soil before it becomes effective. Urea causes seedling damage due to volatilization of ammonia. Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate are strongly acidforming fertilizers.
Although pure salt ammonium nitrate is a fine white crystal, it is usually available as white granules or prills of 1.2 to 3.3 mm size and contains 32 to 35 % nitrogen by weight. The crystalline form is highly hygroscopic and is readily soluble in water. Because of this high solubility in water, it is less effective for flooded rice than urea or other ammoniacal nitrogen fertilizers. It is also more prone to leaching than other ammoniacal products. It is also a very powerful oxidizing agent which can explode when exposed to heat or flame. Because of this hazardous property, ammonium nitrate and its compounds are stored in a dry place in sealed bags. The granular form, however, is easily stored. It can also be spread on soil with ease.
Ammonium nitrate, like other ammonium fertilizers, can leave behind an acid residue in the soil. It takes 0.8 kg of lime to neutralize the acidity produced by 1 kg of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
Ammonium nitrate and urea are the most widely used sources of nitrogen from among all solid fertilizers available. A two bale crop of cotton removes 56 kg of nitrogen per hectare in the seed alone and 16.8 kg of nitrogen per hectare in the lint. To supply this amount of nitrogen, the addition of 224 kg per hectare of ammonium nitrate is required. A 2240 kg per hectare tobacco crop removes 123 kg of nitrogen per hectare, and 5600 kg per hectare crop of rice removes 90 kg of nitrogen per hectare.
Ammonium nitrate is used as a major source of nitrogen for crops in the USA. It is a good nitrogen plant food for all field and vegetable crops and can be applied to the soil before or at the time of planting. It also makes for a good N-fertilizer for side dressing or top dressing.
An aqueous solution of urea and ammonium nitrate, called UAN is used as a liquid nitrogen fertilizer. ‘Ammonite’ is a trademark for a mixture of ammonium nitrate (98%) and coating agents (2%).

Safety Profile

A powerful oxidizer and an allergen. See also NITRATES. A relatively stable explosive that has, however, caused many industrial explosions. Violent or explosive spontaneous reactions with acetic anhydride + nitric acid, ammonium sulfate + potassium, copper iron(Ⅱ) sulfide, sawdust, urea, barium nitrate, hot water, and ammonium chloride + water + zinc. Forms heator shock-sensitive explosive mixtures with acetic acid, aluminum + calcium nitrate + formamide (a blasting explosive), ammonia, charcoal + metal oxides (e.g., rust, copper oxide, zinc oxide above 80℃), chloride salts (e.g., ammonium chloride, calcium chloride, iron(ⅡI) chloride, and aluminum chloride), cyanoguanidine, feruH2ers (e.g., super phosphate + organic materials above 90℃), hydrocarbon oils, powdered metals (e.g., aluminum, antimony, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel, tin, zinc, brass, stainless steel, titanium, and potassium), nonmetals (e.g., charcoal, and phosphorus), organic fuels (e.g., wax, oils, and stearates), potassium permanganate, sugar, sulfur, and trinitroanisole. Reaction with alkali metals (e.g., sodium) forms an explosive product. Ignites on contact with ammonium dichromate, potassium dichromate, potassium chromate, barium chloride, sodium chloride, potassium nitrate, and chromium(V1) salts. Can ignite when mixed with acetic acid. Use water in large amounts to fight fire. It is important that the mass of materials be kept cool and that burning be extinguished promptly. Ventilate well. May explode under confinement and high temperatures. When heated to decomposition it emits highly toxic fumes of NOx. Can react vigorously with reducing materials. Incompatible with, (NH4Cl + heat), (C + heat), organic matter, P, NaOCl, NaClO4. Occasional explosions in presence of oil, (NH4)2S04 with K or Na.

Potential Exposure

Used in the manufacture of liquid and solid fertilizer compositions, industrial explosives and blasting agents from ammonium nitrate, matches; antibiotics; in the production of nitrous oxide.


Ammonium Nitrate. Ammonium nitrate is one of the two leading nitrogen fertilizer materials on a world basis: 10% in 1997. The high N content is advantageous for the reduction of freight and application costs per unit weight of nitrogen. The presence of 50% of the nitrogen in the highly available nitrate form makes it suitable for use in regions growing crops with a short vegetation period but has the disadvantage that, because the NO3 ? ion is not adsorbed by soil, it may contribute to relatively large nitrogen losses by the leaching of increased soil nitrate into streams and groundwater. Although the application of any nitrogenous fertilizer results in some degree of soil acidification, the nitrate form is notably less acidifying than ammonium sulfate and has a lower tendency for the loss of nitrogen to the atmosphere as gaseous ammonia. The hygroscopic character of the crystalline material, coupled with its explosive nature, contributes to difficult storage and handling properties and the need for the production of purified and stabilized forms.


Ammonium nitrate with organic coating: UN0222 Ammonium nitrate, with . 0.2% combustible substances, including any organic substance calculated as carbon, to the exclusion of any other added substance, Hazard Class: 1D; Labels:1D-Explosive (with a mass explosion hazard); D-Substances or articles which may mass detonate (with blast and/or fragment hazard) when exposed to fire. Ammonium nitrate with NO organic coating: UN1942 Ammonium nitrate, with NOT . 0.2% of combustible substances, including any organic substance calculated as carbon, to the exclusion of any other added substance (also used for fertilizer), Hazard Class: 5.1; Labels: 5.1-Oxidizer. UN3375 Ammonium nitrate emulsion or Ammonium nitrate suspension or Ammonium nitrate gel, intermediate for blasting explosives, Hazard Class: 5.1; Labels: 5.1-Oxidizer. UN2072 Ammonium nitrate fertilizer, n.o.s., doesn’t appear in the 49 CFR Hazmat Table, refer to UN1942, above). UN2071 Ammonium nitrate based fertilizer, Hazard class: 9; Labels: 9-Miscellaneous hazardous material. UN2426/140 Ammonium nitrate, liquid (hot concentrated solution), Hazard Class: 5.1; Labels: 5.1-Oxidizer.

Purification Methods

It is crystallised twice from distilled water (1mL/g) by adding EtOH, or from warm water (0.5mL/g) by cooling in an ice-salt bath. Dry it in air, then under vacuum. After 3 recrystallisations of ACS grade, it contained Li and B at 0.03 and 0.74 ppm, respectively. It is deliquescent. [Early & Lowry J Chem Soc 115 1387 1919, 121 963 1922, Hendricks et al. J Am Chem Soc 54 2766 1932.]


A strong oxidizer. Reducing agents; combustible materials; organic materials; finely divided (powdered) metals may form explosive mixtures or cause fire and explosions. When contaminated with oil, charcoal or flammable liquids, can be considered an explosive which can be detonated by combustion or shock.

Waste Disposal

Pretreatment involves addition of sodium hydroxide to liberate ammonia and form the soluble sodium salt. The liberated ammonia can be recovered and sold. After dilution to the permitted provisional limit, the sodium salt can be discharged into a stream or sewer.

Ammonium nitrate Spectrum

AMMONIUM NITRATE EXTRA PURE 5 KG AMMONIUM NITRATE SOLUTION 1 MOL/L ACC. T AMMONIUM NITRATE EXTRA PURE 50 KG AMMONIUM NITRATE EXTRA PURE 25 KG Ammonium nitrate, 99.999% trace metals basis Ammonium nitrate for analysis EMSURE ACS Nitric acid ammonia, Ammonia nitrate Ammonium nitrate, p.a. Ammonium Nitrate, Reag. Ph. Eur. reag. ISO ammonium-(1)-nitrate ammonium(i)nitrate(1:1) ammoniumnitrate,[noorganiccoating] ammoniumnitrate,liquid(hotconcentratedsolution) ammoniumnitrate,withorganiccoating ammoniumnitrate-ureasolution ammoniumsaltpeter caswellno.045 epapesticidechemicalcode076101 germansaltpeter hercoprills mercoprills nitram nitrated’ammonium nitrated’ammonium(french) nitrateofammonia nitratoamonico nitricacid,ammoniumsalt Nitricacidammoniumsalt varioformi Ammonium nitrate, Matrix Modifier Solution, Specpure Ammonium nitrate-14N2 solution Explosive of ammonium nitrate for rock No.2 Explosive of ammonium nitrate for coal mine No.3 Ammonium nitrate,porous granular Azanium nitrate Ammonium nitrate, 99+%, for analysis Ammonium nitrate, 98%, for analysis ACS Ammonium nitrate, for analysis Ammonium nitrate, for analysis ACS Ammonium nitrate, reagent grade, ACS, ISO Ammonium nitrate/ 99+% Ammonium nitrate, Matrix Modifier Solution, Specpure|r AMMONIUM NITRATE NITRIC ACID AMMONIA Geman saltpetre AMMONIUM NITRATE, REAGENTPLUS, 99.99+% AMMONIUM NITRATE, ACS AMMONIUM NITRATE, ACS REAGENT AMMONIUM NITRATE PLANT CELL CULTURETESTE D AMMONIUM NITRATE SIGMAULTRA AMMONIUM NITRATE EXTRA PURE AMMONIUM NITRATE R. G., REAG. ACS, REAG. ISO, REAG. PH. AMMONIUM NITRATE, 99.999% AMMONIUM NITRATE GRANULATED, TECHNICAL AMMONIUM-14N NITRATE-14N (15N-DEPLETED) AmmoniumNitrateAr AmmoniumNitrateGr Ammoniumnitrate,ACS,95%min