Cite
 

ammonium nitrate

ammonium nitrate, chemical compound, NH 4NO 3, 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 ammonia . Major uses are in fertilizers and explosives . 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, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Compounds and Elements

Browse by Subject

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.