Ammonium nitrate: properties, composition, application of fertilizer


2018-04-01 16:28:19




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Ammonium nitrate is chosen as the main source of nitrogen for plants during active growth, many growers and agronomists. This is due to its versatility: it can be used equally well for feeding nearly all cultures, and for most soils it is also suitable.

A Feature of the formula of ammonium nitrate is the presence of nitrogen in two forms - nitrate and amide - NH4NO3. Through this period of learning it from the soil by plants several extended. Nitrogen in the nitrate ion begins to be absorbed immediately after application of the root, and that amide not earlier than one week after feeding.

the formula of ammonium nitrate

Types of products

Usually this fertilizer is produced with the addition of various elements. This is due to the geographic extent of the use of ammonium nitrate, as well as the need to adapt to the needs of farmers in different climatic zones.

  • A. Brand is Used in different industries. Shall contain not less than 98 % ammonium nitrate and not more than 0.3 % water. The content of conditioning (stabilizing) additives, which typically use nitrates of magnesium and calcium, should be 0.2-0.5% calcium oxide and 0.5-1.2%, P2O5.
  • Mark B. is Used exclusively for agricultural purposes. The nitrogen content should be not less than 34 %, and moisture, as well as grade A, not more than 0.3 %. Ammonium nitrate this particular brand is sold in garden stores and has convenient packaging. Divided into highest, first and second grades, the main difference between them is the strength and size of the granules of the drug.
  • Modified Porous. This form of nitrate is used as raw material for the production of industrial explosives, which, in turn, are used in the mining, oil, gas industry, construction and other industries.

The Production of ammonium nitrate

The process of obtaining this fertilizer is quite complex and involves several steps:


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1. First get a nitrate solution magnesium (magnesium Supplement) that contribute to the improvement of physico-chemical properties of ammonium nitrate

Mg2+ + 2HNO3 → Mg(NO3)2 + H2O + q

This process runs for 4 hours at a temperature of about 80 °C and at atmospheric pressure.

2. Neutralize nitric acid with ammonia leading to the formation of ammonium nitrate in solution. This process is carried out at atmospheric pressure and a temperature of 148-165 °C.

NH3 + HNO3 ↔ NH4NO3 + Q.

3. A solution of ammonium nitrate is supplied to moneytransfer which excess of nitric acid neutralized gaseous ammonia. To maintain alkaline environment in the solution is injected magnesium Supplement and sent to stage of evaporation and granulation.

Storage and safety

Due to the fact that part of the ammonium nitrate nitrogen has the ability to evaporate, opened the packaging from the fertilizer to be used in the course of a month. Sealed in waterproof container stored nitrate not more than six months. In the room should be cool and there should be no direct sunlight.

This fertilizer fire and explosion hazard refers to the temperature of ignition 350 °C. But at a temperature of 210 °C, it decomposes with formation of nitrogen oxides and water vapor. And in the interaction of nitrogen oxides with a nitrate evolving flammable oxygen and ammonia. When mixing nitrate with powdered metals, sawdust or straw, sugar and some other organic substances cause the secretion of large amounts of heat, which could trigger the above process.

mulching plants

It is Also recommended to protect the granules of the drug from the mechanical effects such as shock and friction, which can cause an increase of their temperature.

The Accumulation of nitrates in vegetables

Ammonium nitrate is a nitrate fertilizer. By raising awareness of the media, many people have learned that even a tiny amount of nitrates detrimental effect on the human body. And the reason for their accumulation in fruits are exclusively mineral fertilizers, particularly nitrate.

However, this view is incorrect. First, nitrates are not only with food fall in living organisms, but also formed them in the course of natural biochemical reactions. For comparison, the maximum allowable amount of nitrates that can be obtained through the diet without harm to health, is 325 mg per day. And in the human body they produced, for the same day at least 100 mg.

Second, not themselves harmful nitrates, formed during the recovery of nitrite. Symptoms of poisoning are nausea, weakness, diarrhea, shortness of breath. To relieve the condition, it is necessary gastric lavage, reception of absorbent material, type of activated carbon, fresh air.

Third, the accumulation of nitrates in vegetables and fruits can provoke and shock doses of organic fertilizers, such as manure, bird droppings and even herbal infusions. It is important to complete plant nutrition in certain periods of their growth and in the required quantities. As a rule, nitrogenfertilizer cease to apply 2-3 weeks before harvest.

fruits and vegetables

It is also Worth noting that not all plants with equal force accumulate nitrates. Champions of their content is herbs: dill, lettuce, parsley and beets. But the melons using correct agricultural hoard of nitrates even less than white cabbage.


The popularity of the use of ammonium nitrate for fertilizer plants due to a number of advantages:

  • Affordable cost of the product;
  • The ability to use both in dry and in solution;
  • Ideal for root and foliar feeding;
  • Works well on cold soils in early spring;
  • Good diffusion ability.

The Last property of ammonium nitrate allows the fine granules to dissolve in wet soil and to penetrate it quite deeply, delivering food plants with a strong root system. However, it is included in the list of cons.

garden after rain


Due to the high solubility on too moist soils and in areas with a high groundwater table, making this fertilizer is impractical because it would immediately be washed away. Also be ineffective fertilizing, held prior to the pouring rain.

A significant disadvantage of the drug is called its physiological acidity. Regular use on soils with a low content of bases (podzolic soil, ultisol of subtropical regions) stimulates the growth of their acidity, and, therefore, lower yields. To neutralize this effect, it is recommended to add to the soil lime or dolomite.

Fertilizing tomato

The Introduction of ammonium nitrate in the cultivation of tomatoes can be produced at the stage of seedlings. It promotes the growth of strong seedlings. Fertilizing tomato seedlings nitrogen drugs is carried out three times:

  • After the pick: 10 g of ammonium nitrate is mixed with 10 g of potassium salt (KCl) and 40 g of superphosphate, and then dissolve the resulting mixture in a bucket of water;
  • 2 weeks after first feeding: 10 liters of warm water dissolve 15 g of ammonium nitrate, 20 g KCl, and 70 g of superphosphate;
  • A week before planting in the ground: 10 g of ammonium nitrate take 40 g of superphosphate and 60 g of potassium salt, dissolve the mixture in a bucket of water.
tomato seedlings

To the young plants have not received chemical burns, it is important before fertilizing to watering them with plain water and then a solution of the drug. You want to avoid getting it on the stems and leaves of seedlings. If a drop of fertilizer fell on the young greens, you should immediately wash it with clean water.

The Next feeding was held for the outdoors and its life depends on the quality of preparation of planting holes. With proper cultivation it is done once the seedlings adapt to the new place and begin its active growth. With the emergence of flowers and ovaries fertilizer ammonium nitrate should be discontinued.

Feeding cucumbers

This culture fed ammonium nitrate in the mixture with other fertilizers to ensure the delivery of potassium and phosphorus. Do this at least twice per season:

  1. After the appearance of two pairs of true leaves: for 10 liters of water should take 10 g of ammonium nitrate, KCl and superphosphate.
  2. With the beginning of flowering in a bucket of water dissolve 30 g of ammonium nitrate, 20 g of potash and superphosphate in the amount of 40 g.
growing cucumbers

Since the cucumbers are developing pretty fast this is enough to get a good harvest. Overfed with nitrogen, they will be reluctant to form ovaries, and this will affect the reduction in the number of fruits.

Feeding potatoes

The Peculiarity of this culture are underdeveloped roots and very large tubers which accumulate various nutrients entering and generated in the plant. It is easy to imagine that in the cultivation of potatoes on one and the same place from year to year, the soil loses a large quantity of minerals. If you do not perform the replacement, over time the tubers shallow in the absence of power.

When preparing fields for planting potatoes it is necessary to scatter the granules of ammonium nitrate at the rate of 30 g per 1 square meter immediately after the snow melts. Dissolving in rain water, it will seep to the desired depth, and its uniform distribution facilitates subsequent harrowing of the land. It is also advisable to mix the nitrate with superphosphate, which is used in an amount of 15 g per 1 m2.

Root fertilizing potatoes ammonium nitrate produces up to hilling and after copious irrigation. The working solution is prepared from 20 g of ammonium nitrate and 40 g of superphosphate per 10 liters of water.


Effect of the drug on the body

Ammonium nitrate can enter the body through the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, when applied to the skin and eyes. Salitre dust if inhaled irritating effect on the upper respiratory tract, mucous membranes of the eyes, skin (especially if there are cracksand sores). The affected area should be rinsed with plenty of running water for 15 minutes. Nose and mouth should be thoroughly rinsed and ensure victim access to fresh air.

When released in the digestive tract nitrate causes dizziness, nausea and vomiting. As first aid is applied activated carbon, drinking plenty of fluids and a saline laxative.

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