Future of ammonium nitrate after Beirut (Lebanon) explosion
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Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) is a chemical compound that is mostly found as a colorless and/or white to gray crystalline solid, odorless beads, and easily soluble in water. The molecular weight, specific gravity, melting, and boiling point of NH4NO3 are 80.06, 1.725, 169.51 °C, and 210 °C, respectively (Rao, 2014). Higher temperature (>210 °C) easily decomposes NH4NO3 and producing toxic gasses, especially nitrogen oxides, and may also cause an explosion (Han et al., 2015). At room temperature, pure NH4NO3 neither flammable or combustible, but when heated, normally, it is decomposed into non-explosive gases such as oxygen. Nevertheless, it can also be decomposed into explosive material by detonation (Xia et al., 2019). Ammonium nitrate is strongly oxidant that easily detonates under certain circumstances, which include higher temperature (>210 °C), confinement, and impurities (Health Safety Executive, 2004).
Is part ofEnvironmental Pollution, 2020, vol. 267, 115615
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