Differences Are Big

You might be asking yourself how ammonia nitrate is different from ammonium sulfate.  The differences are one to consider when you are looking at additional safety concerns and the availability of the product.

Ammonia nitrate is a very cheap and popular choice for a fertilizer.  The ability of ammonia nitrate to be readily dissolved by water is one reason it is as successful as a fertilizer.  This gives crops a usable supply of nitrogen to increase the output of crops of greens and fruit trees.   The molecule is hygroscopic and will absorb moisture for any source including the air. Ammonia Nitrate can absorb enough moisture to liquefy. Although this liquid form will not readily ignite, it is an accelerant to burning materials.  It is also a very strong oxidizer so caution must be used around powdered metals and other common fertilizer like Urea as the mixture can auto ignite.  Therefore Ammonia Nitrate must be stored in a dry sealed container away from any possible sources of ignition. What does this mean for the consumer?

Higher Cost

This means higher associated cost to the small business owners to cover the meeting of appropriate storage needs for the chemical.    Ammonia Nitrate is also under the regulation of the United States government as one of the readily available chemicals used in bombings like the Oklahoma City BombingOklahoma City Bombing.  The small business owner must carefully weigh the associated cost of the special nature of the compound, the special handling requirements, and the application environment to make sure this fit with their organization.

Ammonium Sulfate readily dissolves in water but it does so at a slower rate which makes the application last longer, decreasing the cost for the business owner.  The application still provides the crop with increased levels of needed nitrogen and sulfur.  Ammonium sulfate has a low combustion temperature that make is ideal to use in the manufacturing of flame retardant materials.   Ammonium sulfate has a low toxicity when ingested, and can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting- unless it is a large dose is not generally fatal.

Choose Ammonium Sulfate

This is also a compound that is the byproduct of the nylon manufacturing process making a ready supply and keeping the cost down for the consumer.  Ammonium Sulfate is a good choice for the small business owner for its safety and over all versatility.   The need for expensive storage design and the additional regulations to keep with Ammonia nitrate would be eliminated and the low combustion temperature reduce the risk accidental ignitions.   The production of Nylon insures there will be no shortage of the compound so you can also count on their being a continuous supply at an affordable rate.


Image Credit:

Ammonium Sulfate Powder, Wikipedia

Oklahoma City bombing

Follow Us

Industrial Services

Commonwealth Industrial Services, Inc. (CIS) is an industrial services company located in Hopewell, Virginia. Although historically a service business, CIS’ primary profit center is the packaging and resale of ammonium sulfate.
Follow Us

Latest posts by Industrial Services (see all)