(43b) The Nature of Ammonium Nitrate Decomposition and Explosions | AIChE

(43b) The Nature of Ammonium Nitrate Decomposition and Explosions


Willey, R. J. - Presenter, Northeastern University
Ammonium nitrate explosions can cause significant destruction as shown with examples in West, Texas (2013) and Tianjin, China (2015). Yet, ammonium nitrate is available in nearly every garden center and serves as one of the major fertilizers used throughout the world. Why is it safe to store in a garden center, and yet not safe when stored in wooden framed buildings? This presentation explores the nature of ammonium nitrate decomposition steps using a process simulator where adiabatic and constant pressure scenarios are evaluated. Answers are simple, yet complex. The first decomposition step is endothermic. In other words, there is a natural barrier that needs to be overcome before further decomposition. Further, explanation is offered within the presentation.


This paper has an Extended Abstract file available; you must purchase the conference proceedings to access it.


Do you already own this?



AIChE Pro Members $150.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
AIChE Explorer Members $225.00
Non-Members $225.00