Q:

What is ammonium nitrate used for?

A:

Quick Answer

Because of its high nitrogen content, ammonium nitrate is commonly used as a fertilizer. Nitrogen is a nutrient for plants and aids their essential growth and metabolic processes, increasing plant yield in the process. Nitrogen also helps in a plant's ability to photosynthesize.

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Full Answer

While many varieties of fertilizer can be expensive for farmers to use regularly, ammonium nitrate, commonly sold in the form of pellets, provides a cheap yet effective alternative. However, in addition to being used in fertilizers, ammonium nitrate is also very reactant in heat and has application in explosives when paired with substances such as TNT. This fuel is called ANFO, or ammonium nitrate fuel oil.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many covalent bonds can nitrogen form?

    A:

    Nitrogen can form up to four covalent bonds, most commonly seen in ammonium. Ammonium is a positive ion, which isn't as stable as ammonia, which has only three covalent bonds.

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  • Q:

    What are common polyatomic ions?

    A:

    Some common biological polyatomic ions include phosphate, which is incorporated into nucleic acids, and ammonium, which is a product of nitrogen fixation. Citrate is an important intermediate in the citric acid cycle. Polyatomic ions are essential components of biological systems, as well as industrial and household chemicals.

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  • Q:

    What is NH4?

    A:

    NH4 is the chemical symbol for the ammonium ion. This ion has a positive charge, and is thus known as a cation. Ammonium ions can be formed by combining ammonia and acid in aqueous solution. Ammonium ions react quickly with most metals, forming salts.

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  • Q:

    How do you make saltpeter?

    A:

    The easiest and cleanest way to make saltpeter, chemically known as potassium nitrate, is to mix ammonium nitrate, a common but hazardous fertilizer with potassium chloride, a sodium-free table salt substitute, in water at a warm but never boiling temperature. Stir the mixture well, and remove it from heat when both solids dissolve. Cool the solution in a freezer, and collect the saltpeter crystals that precipitate from the solution using a coffee filter or metal strainer.

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