ammonium nitrate


ammonium nitrate
a white, crystalline, water-soluble powder, NH4NO3, usually produced by reacting nitric acid with vaporous ammonia: used chiefly in explosives, fertilizers, freezing mixtures, and in the manufacture of nitrous oxide.
[1880-85]

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      (NH4NO3), a salt of ammonia and nitric acid, used widely in fertilizers and explosives. The commercial grade contains about 33.5 percent nitrogen, all of which is in forms utilizable by plants; it is the most common nitrogenous component of artificial fertilizers (fertilizer). Ammonium nitrate also is employed to modify the detonation rate of other explosives, such as nitroglycerin in the so-called ammonia dynamites, or as an oxidizing agent in the ammonals, which are mixtures of ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum.

      Ammonium nitrate is a colourless, crystalline substance (melting point 169.6° C [337.3° F]). It is highly soluble in water; heating of the water solution decomposes the salt to nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Because solid ammonium nitrate can undergo explosive decomposition when heated in a confined space, government regulations have been imposed on its shipment and storage.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • ammonium nitrate — n. a colorless, crystalline salt, NH4NO3, used in some explosives, as a fertilizer, and in rocket fuel …   English World dictionary

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  • ammonium nitrate — noun The ammonium salt of nitric acid, NHNO; it is used in fertilizers and explosives (notably in improvised explosive devices) …   Wiktionary

  • ammonium nitrate — /əˌmoʊniəm ˈnaɪtreɪt/ (say uh.mohneeuhm nuytrayt) noun a white, soluble solid salt, the nitrate of ammonia, NH4NO3, used in explosives, and fertilisers …   Australian English dictionary

  • ammonium nitrate — noun used as an explosive and fertilizer and rocket propellant • Hypernyms: ↑nitrate • Substance Holonyms: ↑fertilizer, ↑fertiliser, ↑plant food, ↑nitrous oxide, ↑laughing gas …   Useful english dictionary

  • ammonium nitrate — noun Date: 1869 a colorless crystalline salt NH4NO3 used in explosives and fertilizers and in veterinary medicine …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ammonium nitrate — n. white crystalline solid (used in fertilizers and in herbicides, insecticides, freezing mixtures, explosives and solid rocket propellants) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • ammonium nitrate — ammo′nium ni′trate n. chem. a white, crystalline, water soluble powder, NH4NO3, used chiefly in explosives, fertilizers, freezing mixtures, and in the manufacture of nitrous oxide • Etymology: 1880–85 …   From formal English to slang


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