Ammonia is a raw material in the production of many nitrogen based fertilizers. It is also a building block for many chemicals, synthetic fibres, explosives and cleaners.
Ammonia is a colourless gas with a strong characteristic odour. It is available in gaseous form and boils at -34°C. In a liquid state, ammonia has to be transported under pressure or in a refrigerated state. The molecular formular is NH3. Ammonia contains about 82% nitrogen. Most production is today based on natural gas or from coal gasification. China accounts for close to 30% of all worldwide ammonia production with India, USA and Russia each accounting for about 8% of the worldwide production. Ammonia reacts strongly with acids to produce salts: Nitric acid into ammonium nitrate, sulphuric acid into ammonium sulphate, phosphoric acid into ammonium phosphates and hydrochloric acid into ammonium chloride.
Examples of applications
More than 80% of all ammonia is consumed as fertilizer as a salt or solution. The main fertilizers are urea, UAN, ammonium phosphates (DAP, MAP, NP), ammonium nitrate (AN) and ammonium sulphate (AS). In a diluted form it is used as a household cleaner with 5-10% ammonia content.