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With the formula NH3, Ammonia is a hydrogen and nitrogen compound. Ammonia is the simplest pnictogen hydride. With a typical pungent smell, it is a colorless gas. It significantly brings to the nutritional requirements of terrestrial organisms by working as a precursor to fertilizers & food. Either directly or indirectly, Ammonia is a building block for the synthesis of numerous pharmaceuticals, as well as it is used in a range of commercial cleaning products.
An efficient & broadly used nitrogen fertilizer source, Anhydrous ammonia has various advantages including its ready availability and relatively easy application. It is compressed into a colorless, clear liquid when utilized for agricultural fertilizers.
However, there are disadvantages and potential dangers concerned with the handling of anhydrous ammonia. It should be stored & handled under high pressure that requires specially designed, well-maintained equipments. Also to insure their safety, workers should be educated about the processes and personal protective equipment needed to safely handle the product.
Anhydrous ammonia is categorized by DOT as a non-flammable gas. Ammonia vapors are flammable over a range of 16% to 25% by volume in the air, and a strong source of ignition must be present.
Compatibilities & Incompatibilities
Anhydrous ammonia is compatible with iron and carbon steel. It is not compatible with brass, copper, bronze, mercury or zinc. Ammonia corrodes brass and copper into a blue-green salt.
Ammonium Hydroxide (Aqua)
Anhydrous, means without water. When anhydrous ammonia gas is dissolved in the water, the consequent material is aqua ammonia or ammonium hydroxide.
Storage & Handling
Ammonia is stored as well as transported as a liquid under pressure. Here the pressure on tank is liquid pressure, and it remains same whether the tank is 10% full or 80% full. Maximum filling level for tank is: 85%. Ammonia has a large affinity for water, therefore special care must be provided to hold the ammonia dry.