ammonium nitrate

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ammonium nitrate,

chemical compound, NH4NO3, that exists as colorless, rhombohedral crystals at room temperature but changes to monoclinic crystals when heated above 32°C;. It is extremely soluble in water and soluble in alcohol and liquid ammonia. It is prepared commercially by reaction of nitric acid and ammoniaammonia,
chemical compound, NH3, colorless gas that is about one half as dense as air at ordinary temperatures and pressures. It has a characteristic pungent, penetrating odor.
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. Major uses are in fertilizersfertilizer,
organic or inorganic material containing one or more of the nutrients—mainly nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and other essential elements required for plant growth.
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 and explosivesexplosive,
substance that undergoes decomposition or combustion with great rapidity, evolving much heat and producing a large volume of gas. The reaction products fill a much greater volume than that occupied by the original material and exert an enormous pressure, which can be
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. For fertilizers it is in the form of small clay-coated pellets. For explosives it is sometimes mixed with other substances, e.g., TNT, so that it is more easily detonated. It is also used in solid-fuel rocket propellants, in pyrotechnics, and in the production of nitrous oxide.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ammonium Nitrate


(NH4NO3) the ammonium salt of nitric acid. Colorless, hygroscopic crystals. Ammonium nitrate is a strong oxidizing agent; when dry, it is exploded by detonators. Three brands, A, B, and V, are produced in the USSR. Brands A and B are used in industry in explosive mixtures (ammonites). Brand V is the most widely used nitrogen fertilizer in the USSR; it is effective, containing about 35 percent nitrogen, and exhibits physiological acidity. Various conditioning additives are added to brand V to decrease its hygroscopicity and caking tendency. Ammonium nitrate is used for all crops and in all types of soils as the main fertilizer and as a supplement.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ammonium nitrate

[ə′mōn·yəm ′nī‚trāt]
(inorganic chemistry)
NH4NO3 A colorless crystalline salt; very insensitive and stable high explosive; also used as a fertilizer.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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