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Ammonium Nitrate Formula

Last updated date: 15th Apr 2024
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Ammonium Nitrate

The ammonium cation NH4+ and the nitrate anion (NO3- combine to form ammonium nitrate, an ionic salt. NH4NO3 is the chemical formula for this substance.

Ammonium nitrate dissociates into its constituent ions and dissolves easily in water. Because it is made up of a weak base (NH3) and a strong acid, this salt is acidic (HNO3).

It's a white crystalline substance made up of ammonium and nitrate ions. Although it does not form hydrates, it is very soluble in water and hygroscopic as a solid. It is mostly used as a high-nitrogen fertiliser in agriculture. In 2017, global production was predicted to be 21.6 million tonnes.

As we have already discussed the ammonium nitrate formula, now given below are physical properties including the molecular weight of ammonium nitrate/molecular mass of ammonium nitrate.

Chemical Formula-NH4NO3

Molecular weight of ammonium nitrate/Molecular mass of ammonium nitrate.- 80.043 grams per mole

Density-1.725 grams per cubic centimetre

Melting Point-442.8K (169.6C)

Boiling Point-Decomposes at 483K (210C)

Production of Ammonium Nitrate

The acid-base interaction between nitric acid and ammonia can produce NH4NO3, which is described by the chemical equation:

NH3 + HNO3 → NH4NO3

This reaction is extremely exothermic and violent. The oxidising properties of ammonium nitrate are also well recognised. It's found in a lot of explosives used in the mining and construction industries. NH4NO3 is also a fundamental component of ANFO, which is one of the most widely used industrial explosives.

Structure of Ammonium Nitrate 

An ammonium ion and a nitrate ion form an ionic connection in this molecule. Below is a diagram of the structure of an NH4NO3 molecule.

Due to resonance, the Π electrons in the nitrate ion are delocalized. Because the nitrogen atom has a charge of +1 and each oxygen atom has a charge of -2/3, the net charge on this ion is -1. As a result, only one NH4+ ion and one NO3- ion can form an ionic connection.

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Physical Properties of Ammonium Nitrate 

  1. The crystalline solid ammonium nitrate has a white/grey colour.

  2. Its crystal structure is trigonal.

  3. It is water-soluble, with a solubility of 150g/100ml at 200C. When the temperature is elevated to 100, the solubility increases to 1024g/100ml.

  4. The breakdown of NH4NO3 in H2O produces a lot of heat.

  5. The shock and friction sensitivities of this compound are extremely low.

Chemical Properties of Ammonium Nitrate 

  1. When NH4NO3 reacts with alkali metal hydroxides, alkali metal nitrates, as well as ammonia, are generated.

  2. This chemical decomposes into nitrous oxide (N2O) and water when heated.

  3. When this chemical is burst, it produces N2, O2 and water as byproducts.

  4. Ammonium nitrate, though being a component of many explosives, is not explosive in and of itself. To make an explosive mixture, it must be combined with a primary explosive such as azide.

Applications of Ammonium Nitrate 

The following are some of the most important uses for this ionic salt.

  1. Because of its high nitrogen content, NH4NO3 is an important component of many fertilisers (34 percent ).

  2. Another advantage of this chemical is that, unlike urea, it does not lose nitrogen to the atmosphere.

  3. When combined with fuel oil, it produces ANFO, which is one of the most widely used industrial explosives.

  4. This compound's dissolution in water is very endothermic, making it an excellent material for quick cold packs.

  5. It's also a component of explosives in the mining and construction industries.

Health Hazards of Ammonium Nitrate 

Material safety data sheets, which are available from suppliers and can be found on the internet, contain health and safety information.

Ammonium nitrate is a non-toxic substance that is commonly used in fertiliser products.

The LD50 of ammonium nitrate is 2217 mg/kg, which is roughly two-thirds that of table salt.

Disaster of Ammonium Nitrate 

When heated, ammonium nitrate decomposes non-explosively into nitrous oxide and water vapour. Detonation, on the other hand, can cause it to decompose explosively. Large stockpiles of the material can also pose a significant fire risk due to oxidation, which can quickly escalate to detonation. Explosions are not uncommon: most years, relatively minor incidents occur, but there have also been several large and devastating explosions. The Oppau explosion in 1921 (one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history), the Texas City disaster in 1947, the 2015 Tianjin explosions in China, and the 2020 Beirut explosion are all examples.


The ionic salt ammonium nitrate is formed when the ammonium cation NH4+ and the nitrate anion (NO3-) combine to create ammonium nitrate. The molecular formula for this compound is NH4NO.

Ammonium nitrate dissolves quickly in water after dissociating into its constituent ions. This salt is acidic because it is made up of a weak base (NH3) and a strong acid (HNO3).

It's an ammonium and nitrate ion-based white crystalline material. It is extremely soluble in water and hygroscopic as a solid, despite the fact that it does not form hydrates. 

FAQs on Ammonium Nitrate Formula

Question: What Is the Molecular Weight of Ammonium Nitrate/Molecular Mass of Ammonium Nitrate. Is Ammonium Nitrate a Poisonous Substance?

The molecular weight of ammonium nitrate is 80.043 grams per mole. Ammonium nitrate is not harmful under normal handling conditions. Inhaling high concentrations of ammonium nitrate dust, on the other hand, can cause respiratory tract irritation. Coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, and even suffocation are all possible symptoms.

Question: What is the Purpose of Banning Ammonium Nitrate?

Australia, Germany, Ireland, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom have all banned the sale of pure ammonium nitrate, while India has reclassified it as an explosive, imposing stricter handling and storage regulations. This has had a negative impact on global consumption growth.

Question: What is the Purpose of Ammonium Nitrate in Weapons?

Ammonium nitrate is a white crystal-like solid that is produced in large quantities in industry. It is primarily used as a source of nitrogen for fertiliser, but it is also used to make mining explosives.