Difference Between Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Sulphate (With Table)

Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate are two ammonia compounds that can be used for a variety of applications. Furthermore, ammonium nitrate can be used as a component in explosives, but its primary application is as a fertilizer in agriculture. Ammonium Sulphate is another inorganic ammonia salt. It is beneficial to the soil as a fertilizer. Let’s compare and contrast the two salts.

Ammonium Nitrate vs Ammonium Sulphate

The main difference between Ammonium nitrate and Ammonium sulfate is that ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound made up of ammonia and nitric acid. Ammonium sulphate, on the other hand, is an inorganic sulphur and nitrogen salt. Another important distinction between the two compounds is how they are used. When mixed with alcohol, ammonium nitrate can be used to make explosives. However, because ammonium sulphate is a harmless substance, it can be used as a food additive.

Ammonium nitrate is made up of nitric acid and ammonia. When the two chemicals are combined, an acid-based reaction occurs, resulting in the solution of ammonium nitrate. It’s critical that the mixture is made correctly by industry experts. Anhydrous ammonia gas and very concentrated nitric acid are mixed in professional manufacture.

Ammonium sulfate is an inorganic nitrogen-sulfur compound. Surprisingly, natural ammonium sulfate can be discovered around volcanic terrain and slag heaps. Ammonia and sulphuric acid are mixed in commercial manufacture. The two chemicals generate big crystals that are easily dissolved in water as a result of this chemical reaction.

Comparison Table Between Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Sulphate

Parameters of ComparisonAmmonium NitrateAmmonium Sulphate
DefinitionAn inorganic salt containing a nitrate anion linked to an ammonium cationAn inorganic compound containing an ammonium cation linked with a sulfate anion.
Chemical FormulaNH4NO3(NH4)2SO4
Anions and CationsContains one anion per cation.Contains one anion per two cations.
Molar Mass80.043 g/mol132.14 g/mol
Melting point and decompositionThe melting point is 169.6 °C, thus it decomposes above 210 °CThe melting point ranges from 235 to 280 °C, thus it decomposes above.

What is Ammonium Nitrate

The inorganic salt ammonium nitrate contains a nitrate anion coupled to an ammonium cation. As a result, we can call it an ammonium cation nitrate salt. NH4NO3 is the chemical formula for this substance. This substance is a white crystal solid with high water solubility. It’s mostly used as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in agriculture. Another important application is in the manufacture of explosives.

This chemical has a molar mass of 80.043 g/mol. It looks to be a solid white-grey color. Because this compound’s melting point is 169.6 °C, it decomposes over 210 °C. This compound’s disintegration in water is endothermic.

When it comes to the occurrence, it occurs as a natural mineral that is frequently found in conjunction with halide minerals. In order to manufacture ammonium nitrate in the industrial setting, we can use an acid-base reaction between ammonia and nitric acid. Ammonia in its anhydrous form and nitric acid in its concentrated form should be used there.

Ammonium nitrate storage, safety, and handling necessitate extreme caution and awareness. Salt is a potentially toxic substance, thus this is the explanation behind it. Furthermore, the production of ammonium nitrate should only be done by professionals in the industry.

What is Ammonium Sulphate

The inorganic compound ammonium sulfate is made up of an ammonium cation and a sulfate anion. This compound’s chemical formula is (NH4)2SO4. As a result, each sulfate anion possesses two ammonium cations. It is an inorganic sulfate salt with numerous applications.

It appears as thin, hygroscopic granules or crystals due to its molar mass of 132.14 g/mol. Furthermore, the melting point ranges from 235 to 280 °C, and the compound decomposes above this temperature range.

This chemical can be made by combining ammonia and sulfuric acid. In this experiment, we utilize a reactor to combine ammonia gas and water vapor. This reactor can be filled with concentrated sulfuric acid. Ammonium sulfate will be formed as a result of the reaction between these components.

The use of ammonium sulfate should be done with extreme caution, as it can be hazardous to both persons and the environment. When inhaled, significant irritation and inflammation of the respiratory system can occur, like itching, redness, or pain when it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. When working with ammonium sulfate, it is vital to take precautions such as wearing a personal respirator and chemical safety eyewear.

Main difference between Ammonium Nitrate vs Ammonium Sulphate

  1. The chemical compound ammonium nitrate is made up of ammonia and nitric acid. Ammonium sulfate, on the other hand, is an inorganic sulfur and nitrogen salt.
  2. When mixed with alcohol, ammonium nitrate can be used to make explosives. However, because ammonium sulfate is a harmless substance, it can be used as a food additive.
  3. NH4NO3 is the formula for ammonium nitrate. Ammonium sulfate, on the other hand, has the chemical formula (NH4)2SO4.
  4. Ammonium nitrate has a molar mass of 80.043 g/mol, while ammonium sulfate has a molar mass of 132.14 g/mol.
  5. Ammonium nitrate is a chemical that can be used in the production of explosives. Ammonium sulfate, on the other hand, is used as a nitrogen fertilizer for alkaline soils and as a food additive.

Conclusion

Fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate are both effective. The main distinction between ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate is that ammonium nitrate is formed when ammonia combines with nitric acid, whereas ammonium sulfate is formed when ammonia reacts with sulfuric acid. Regardless of the distinctions, while working with either of the two chemical compounds, precautions must be taken.

The salt ammonium nitrate is more dangerous than ammonium sulfate. While ammonium sulfate is used as a food additive and a soil enhancer, ammonium nitrate is commonly used in explosives. Regardless of the distinctions, while working with either of the two chemical compounds, precautions must be taken.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021850297100039
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/6cafea810d54e989d579fe6b7f357385/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2040555