Research into the production of Nitrate Fertillisers.
Part 1: stimulus material: Research and collecting secondary data.
Advantages of Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer
Ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) are the two forms in which plants can directly utilize nitrogen from the soil. Upon application of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, it easily dissociates into these two forms. When urea-based fertilizers are used, conversion of urea to ammonium occurs for a period of one day to one week and some amount of nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere in the process. Thus, the immediate availability of nitrate ions makes ammonium nitrate preferable over urea-based ones. Moreover, ammonium nitrate is a stable fertilizer and is not subject to losses due to volatilization.
Ammonium nitrate, is widely used in mining and construction industries, in the form of dry blasting agents. Being available in the crystalline dry forms, it is easy to handle and load. Moreover, they are safe and cheap as compared to other blasting agents.
Disadvantages of ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer
As I said earlier, ammonium nitrate is a strong and explosive agent. In fact it is one of the largest industrial explosive manufactured in the US. Ammonium nitrate is used in the fields of quarrying and mining. Ammonium nitrate is one of the cheapest crop nourishing fertilizer types and hence, it is easily available in the markets and agricultural stores too.
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Chemical formula for ammonium nitrate is (NH4)2SO4
Chemical Properties ammonium nitrate
Chemical formula: NH4NO3
Composition: 33 to 34% N
Water solubility (20 ºC): 1,900 g/L
Granular ammonium nitrate provides equal amounts of nitrate-N and ammonium-N, and its application has been highly suited to vegetable or forage crops.
Ammonium nitrate is a popular fertilizer since it provides half of the N in the nitrate form and half in the ammonium form. The nitrate form moves readily with soil water to the roots where it is immediately available for plant uptake. The ammonium fraction is taken up by roots or gradually converted to nitrate by soil microorganisms. Many vegetable growers prefer an immediately available nitrate source of plant nutrition and use ammonium nitrate. It is popular for pasture and hay fertilization since it is less susceptible to volatilization losses than urea-based fertilizers when left on the soil surface.
Ammonium nitrate is commonly mixed with other fertilizers, but these mixtures cannot be stored for long periods because of a tendency to absorb moisture from the air. The very high solubility of ammonium nitrate makes it well suited for making solutions for fertigation or foliar sprays.
Ammonium sulfate [(NH4)2 SO4] was one of the first and most widely used nitrogen (N) fertilizers for crop production. It is now less commonly used, but especially valuable where both N and sulfur (S) are required. Its high solubility provides versatility for a number of agricultural applications.
Chemical Properties of Ammonium sulfate
Chemical formula: (NH4)2SO4
N content: 21%
S content: 24%
Water solubility 750 g/L
Solution pH 5 to 6
Agricultural use of ammonium sulphate
Ammonium sulfate is used primarily where there is a need for supplemental N and S to meet the nutritional requirement of growing plants.
used in flooded soils for rice production, where nitrate-based fertilizers are a poor choice due to denitrification losses.
A solution containing dissolved ammonium sulfate is often added to post-emergence herbicide sprays to improve their effectiveness at weed control.
Most plants are able to utilize both ammonium and nitrate forms of N for growth. In warm soils, microbes will rapidly begin to convert ammonium to nitrate in the process of nitrification [2 NH4+ + 3O22NO3- + 2H2O + 4H+].
Manufacturing process for Ammonium sulphate
Other nitrogen fertilisers
Urea () is a nitrogen-containing chemical product which is produced on a large scale worldwide. Urea has the highest nitrogen content of all solid nitrogeneous fertilisers in common use (46,4%) and is produced by reacting ammonia with carbon dioxide.
Two reactions are involved in producing urea:
Other common fertilisers are ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate. Ammonium nitrate is formed by reacting ammonia with nitric acid.
Ammonium sulphate is formed by reacting ammonia with sulphuric acid.
The production of phosphate fertilisers also involves a number of processes. The first is the production of sulphuric acid through the contact process. Sulphuric acid is then used in a reaction that produces phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid can then be reacted with phosphate rock to produce triple superphosphates.
The production of sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid is produced from sulphur, oxygen and water through the contact process. In the first step, sulphur is burned to produce sulphur dioxide.
This is then oxidised to sulphur trioxide using oxygen in the presence of a vanadium(V) oxide catalyst.
Finally the sulphur trioxide is treated with water to produce 98-99% sulfuric acid.
Nutrients are very important for life to exist. An essential nutrient is any chemical element that is needed for a plant to be able to grow from a seed and complete its life cycle. The same is true for animals. A macronutrient is one that is required in large quantities by the plant or animal, while a micronutrient is one that only needs to be present in small amounts for a plant or an animal to function properly.
Javirya AKhtar 8034 13228 03/11/2012