Ammonium nitrate

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Colorless deliquescent crystals that are made by the action of ammonia on Nitric acid. Ammonium nitrate is a strong oxidizer and can explode when heated. Ammonium nitrate also can produce shock induced explosions when exposed to organic materials. Commercially, it is used as an explosive, a fertilizer, a corrosion inhibitor, and an ingredient in insecticides.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Norway saltpeter; Norway saltpetre

Chemical structure

Ammonium nitrate.jpg


  • Explosive in closed containers and high temperatures. Strong oxidizing agent.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water. Slightly soluble in ethanol, methanol. pH of 0.1 M solution in water = 5.43

Composition HN4NO3
CAS 6484-52-2
Melting Point 169.6 C
Density 1.72 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 80.1
Refractive Index 1.413, 1.611 (He), 1.63

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 567
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.413, 1.611 (He), 1.63
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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