Ammonium nitrate is known for his characteristics that helps things grow, as well as the other side that helps things explode.
Whether produced to become an ingredient for fertilizer or a component for explosives, ammonium nitrate’s hygroscopic nature requires a controlled process environment; which in the absence of it the product can coalesce into a solid mass or in moisture excess can liquefy.
Ammonium nitrate is used extensively as a nitrogenous fertilizer. It is made exclusively by the reaction between gaseous ammonia and aqueous nitric acid.
More and more Ammonium Nitrate based fertilizers are nowadays produced as granules, leading to products having better mechanical properties, bigger granulometry and better aspect than the prilled products.
Much of granulation processes are using Ammonium Nitrate solution with a concentration between 95 and 97.5% weight.
One of the important parameters in the production of ammonium nitrate is the strength of the nitric acid feedstock which can vary from 50 to 70%. Generally, the ammonium nitrate is made from the nitric acid available from the production facility. It may also be made from purchased nitric acid.
The production process comprises three main unit operations:
Solidification (prilling and granulation)