Uses of Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer
Ammonium nitrate Fertilizer is used commonly in pyrotechniques, herbicides, and insecticides; and in the manufacture of nitrous oxide.
Notably, there have been advancements in mixtures and coatings, formulations and hygroscopicity approaches that minimize the potential for the misuse of ammonium nitrate while increasing stability for safer storage. For example, the addition of a urea double salt, which forms a stable fertilizer with ammonium nitrate, has been explored.
Advantage and disadvantage of ammonium nitrate fertilizer
Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer has been the standard for summer applications for many years due to its excellent agronomic properties. The nitrate half is mobile in the soil and can move to roots for rapid uptake. The ammonium half attaches to clay particles and releases nitrogen over time. One of ammonium nitrate’s advantages is that it is not usually subject to volatilization. The disadvantage is due to production costs and increased regulations, ammonium nitrate currently costs 20 plus percent more per pound of nitrogen than other common sources.
The formation of ammonium nitrate gives off significant amounts of heat, thus it is made in aqueous solution to better dissipate that heat. The water must be then removed from the solution to yield solid ammonium nitrate, most often by evaporation.
Ammonium nitrate innovation focused on safety
To this end, scientists around the world have been exploring ways to make this highly valuable compound safer.
An in-depth analysis of the CAS content collection reveals a few focus areas that have started to emerge in the intellectual property (IP) landscape. Notably, there have been advancements in mixtures and coatings, formulations and hygroscopicity approaches that minimize the potential for the misuse of ammonium nitrate while increasing stability for safer storage.
How to Use Ammonium Nitrate
The fertilizer is an almost instantly useable form of nitrogen due to its porosity and solubility. It provides nitrogen from both ammonia and nitrate. The standard method of application is by broadcast spreading the granules. These will rapidly melt in water to allow the nitrogen to release into the soil. The nitrogen will move quickly through the soil to the roots of the plant for rapid uptake.