In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What is the molar mass of ammonium nitrate?” and provide information on how to calculate molar mass, characteristics of ammonium nitrate, where you can find them naturally, how to produce them commercially as well as whether it can explode.
What is the molar mass of ammonium nitrate?
The molar mass of ammonium nitrate is 80.0 g/mole. Ammonium nitrate is made up of nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms.
It is formed when an ammonium ion combines with a nitrate ion. The ammonium ion is chemically represented as NH₄⁺ and Nitrate are chemically represented as NO₃⁻. When both these compounds react together, they form NH₄NO₃.
How to calculate the molar mass of a compound?
The molar mass of a compound is calculated by adding up the molar mass of each constituent present in them.
For instance, to calculate the molar mass of ammonium nitrate, you need to know the molar mass of hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen as its chemically represented as NH₄NO₃.
The molecular mass of nitrogen is 14 whereas that of hydrogen would be 1. The molecular mass of oxygen can be 15.9.
Thus, the molar mass of ammonium nitrate will be= 2 x weight of nitrogen+ 4 x weight of hydrogen + 3 x weight of oxygen
= 2 x 14 + 4 x 1 + 3 x 15.9
= 28 + 4 + 47.7
= 79.9 = 80 g/mol
What are the physical characteristics of ammonium nitrate?
Ammonium nitrate is a solid substance that appears in a crystalline form. It does not have a particular smell. It has a white or grey color.
Ammonium nitrate is usually stable but when stored it can release nitrous oxide. It also absorbs moisture from the air.
Where can you find ammonium nitrate in its natural form?
Ammonium nitrate can be found in its natural form in the Atacama desert. The Atacama desert is present in Chile. It is mostly found in dry and arid regions.
Usually, in dry regions, ammonium nitrate can be found on a crust in the ground. Apart from this, iodides and halides can also be found.
Can ammonium nitrate be created commercially?
Yes, ammonium nitrate can be created in industrial settings as well. A reaction between an acid and a base can form this compound.
Ammonia (basic) can react with Nitric acid (acidic) to form ammonium nitrate commercially. However, for this reaction to proceed, ammonia needs to be in gaseous form. There are high levels of heat produced during this reaction.
You would then obtain an ammonium nitrate solution from this reaction. The solution is then dried to obtain ammonium nitrate concentrate (removal of water can give an ammonium nitrate concentrate).
The resultant product achieved can have 95-98 percent of ammonium nitrate. These products are called AN melts. AN melts can be converted to granules and then dried. After drying, they undergo cooling. These products are then coated and released into the market.
Can ammonium nitrate explode?
Yes, ammonium nitrate can explode. It explodes after transferring an oxygen atom to other compounds that might require them. This emission of oxygen can increase the levels of oxygen that are present in the air causing the ammonium nitrate to explode.
If the temperature is particularly high, the explosion can be more intense. It is important to avoid storing ammonium nitrate with other explosive or inflammable materials. Materials that are prone to combustion should not be kept beside ammonium nitrate either.
Improper handling of ammonium nitrate has led to explosions in some factories. For instance, In a Chinese factory, there was an accident that occurred in 2015 due to improper handling practices.
Compounds that contain more than 45 percent ammonium nitrate are considered to be explosive and should be handled with caution.
How can ammonium nitrate be stored?
As ammonium nitrate is volatile, it needs to be handled with caution. This can minimize its destructive effects.
Ammonium nitrate needs to be kept in a ventilated area with doors and windows. This is because ventilation can reduce the chances of combustion. There are fewer chances of a fire being ignited as well.
Keep materials that are non-combustible close to ammonium nitrate as combustible ones can trigger a fire.
The ideal temperature to store ammonium nitrate can be 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Store only a few amounts of ammonium nitrate to reduce the risk of fire. Fire protection tools must be kept in handy.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What is the molar mass of ammonium nitrate?” and provided information on how to calculate molar mass, characteristics of ammonium nitrate, where you can find them naturally, how to produce them commercially as well as whether it can explode.