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Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. It is a colorless gas with a characteristic pungent odor. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is also a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals. Although in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous. In 2006, worldwide production was estimated at 146.5 million tons. It is used in commercial cleaning products.
Ammonia, as used commercially, is often called anhydrous ammonia. This term emphasizes the absence of water in the material. Because NH3 boils at -33.34 °C, (-28.012 °F) the liquid must be stored under high pressure or at low temperature. Its heat of vaporization is, however, sufficiently high so that NH3 can be readily handled in ordinary beakers, in a fume hood (i.e., if it is already a liquid it will not boil readily). "Household ammonia" or "ammonium hydroxide" is a solution of NH3 in water. The strength of such solutions is measured in units of baume (density), with 26 degrees baume (about 30 weight percent ammonia at 15.5 °C) being the typical high concentration commercial product. Household ammonia ranges in concentration from 5 to 10 weight percent ammonia.
The Romans called the ammonium chloride deposits they collected from near the Temple of Jupiter Amun (Greek Ἄμμων Ammon) in ancient Libya 'sal ammoniacus' (salt of Amun) because of proximity to the nearby temple. Salts of ammonia have been known from very early times; thus the term Hammoniacus sal appears in the writings of Pliny, although it is not known whether the term is identical with the more modern sal-ammoniac.
In the form of sal-ammoniac (nushadir), ammonia was important to the Muslim alchemists as early as the 8th century, first mentioned by the Islamic chemist Jābir ibn Hayyān, and to the European alchemists since the 13th century, being mentioned by Albertus Magnus. It was also used by dyers in the Middle Ages in the form of fermented urine to alter the colour of vegetable dyes. In the 15th century, Basilius Valentinus showed that ammonia could be obtained by the action of alkalis on sal-ammoniac. At a later period, when sal-ammoniac was obtained by distilling the hooves and horns of oxen and neutralizing the resulting carbonate with hydrochloric acid, the name "spirit of hartshorn" was applied to ammonia.
Gaseous ammonia was first isolated by Joseph Priestley in 1774 and was termed by him alkaline air. Eleven years later in 1785, Claude Louis Berthollet ascertained its composition.
The Haber-Bosch process to produce ammonia from the nitrogen in the air was developed by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch in 1909 and patented in 1910. It was first used on an industrial scale by the Germans during World War I, following the allied blockade that cut off the supply of nitrates from Chile. The ammonia was used to produce explosives to sustain their war effort.
Prior to the advent of cheap natural gas, hydrogen as a precursor to ammonia production was produced via the electrolysis of water or using the chlor-alkali process. The Vemork 60 MW hydroelectric plant in Norway, constructed in 1911, was used purely for plants using the Birkeland-Eyde process.
Approximately 83% (as of 2004) of ammonia is used as fertilizers either as its salts or as solutions. Consuming more than 1% of all man-made power, the production of ammonia is a significant component of the world energy budget.
• Precursor to nitrogenous compounds
Ammonia is directly or indirectly the precursor to most nitrogen-containing compounds. Virtually all synthetic nitrogen compounds are derived from ammonia. An important derivative is nitric acid. This key material is generated via the Ostwald process by oxidation of ammonia with air over a platinum catalyst at 700–850 °C, ~9 atm. Nitric oxide is an intermediate in this conversion:
NH3 + 2 O2 → HNO3 + H2O
Nitric acid is used for the production of fertilizers, explosives, and many organonitrogen compounds.
Household ammonia is a solution of NH3 in water (i.e., ammonium hydroxide) used as a general purpose cleaner for many surfaces. Because ammonia results in a relatively streak-free shine, one of its most common uses is to clean glass, porcelain and stainless steel. It is also frequently used for cleaning ovens and soaking items to loosen baked-on grime. Household ammonia ranges in concentration from 5 to 10 weight percent ammonia.
MINOR AND EMERGING USES
• Refrigeration – R717
Because of its favorable vaporization properties, ammonia is an attractive refrigerant. It was commonly used prior to the popularization of chlorofluorocarbons (Freons). Anhydrous ammonia is widely used in industrial refrigeration applications and hockey rinks because of its high energy efficiency and low cost. The Kalina cycle, which is of growing importance to geothermal power plants, depends on the wide boiling range of the ammonia-water mixture. Ammonia is used less frequently in commercial applications, such as in grocery store freezer cases and refrigerated displays due to its toxicity.
• For remediation of gaseous emissions
Ammonia is used to scrub SO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, and the resulting product is converted to ammonium sulfate for use as fertilizer. Ammonia neutralizes the nitrogen oxides (NOx) pollutants emitted by diesel engines. This technology, called SCR (selective catalytic reduction), relies on a vanadia-based catalyst.
• As a fuel
Ammonia was used during World War II to power buses in Belgium, and in engine and solar energy applications prior to 1900. Liquid ammonia was used as the fuel of the rocket airplane, the X-15. Although not as powerful as other fuels, it left no soot in the reusable rocket engine and its density approximately matches the density of the oxidizer, liquid oxygen, which simplified the aircraft's design.
Ammonia has been proposed as a practical alternative to fossil fuel for internal combustion engines. The calorific value of ammonia is 22.5 MJ/kg (9690 BTU/lb) which is about half that of diesel. In a normal engine, in which the water vapor is not condensed, the calorific value of ammonia will be about 21% less than this figure. It can be used in existing engines with only minor modifications to carburetors/injectors.
To meet these demands, significant capital would be required to increase present production levels. Although the second most produced chemical, the scale of ammonia production is a small fraction of world petroleum usage. It could be manufactured from renewable energy sources, as well as coal or nuclear power. It is however significantly less efficient than batteries. The 60 MW Rjukan dam in Telemark, Norway produced ammonia via electrolysis of water for many years from 1913 producing fertilizer for much of Europe. If produced from coal, the CO2 can be readily sequestered (the combustion products are nitrogen and water). In 1981 a Canadian company converted a 1981 Chevrolet Impala to operate using ammonia as fuel.
Ammonia engines or ammonia motors, using ammonia as a working fluid, have been proposed and occasionally used. The principle is similar to that used in a fireless locomotive, but with ammonia as the working fluid, instead of steam or compressed air. Ammonia engines were used experimentally in the 19th century by Goldsworthy Gurney in the UK and in streetcars in New Orleans in the USA.
• Antimicrobial agent for food products
As early as in 1895 it was known that ammonia was "strongly antiseptic. It requires 1.4 grams per liter to preserve beef tea." Anhydrous ammonia has been shown effective as an antimicrobial agent for animal feed and is currently used commercially to reduce or eliminate microbial contamination of beef. The New York Times reported in October, 2009 on an American company, Beef Products Inc., which turns fatty beef trimmings, averaging between 50 and 70 percent fat, into seven million pounds per week of lean finely textured beef by removing the fat using heat and centrifugation, then disinfecting the lean product with ammonia; the process was rated by the US Department of Agriculture as effective and safe on the basis of a study (financed by Beef Products) which found that the treatment reduces E. coli to undetectable levels. Further investigation by The New York Times published in December, 2009 revealed safety concerns about the process as well as consumer complaints about the taste and smell of beef treated at optimal levels of ammonia.
• As a stimulant
Ammonia has found significant use in various sports – particularly the strength sports of power lifting and Olympic weightlifting as a respiratory stimulant. Ammonia is commonly used in the illegal manufacture of Methamphetamine through a Birch reduction, the Birch method of making meth is dangerous because the alkali metal and liquid ammonia are both extremely reactive, and the temperature of liquid ammonia makes it susceptible to explosive boiling when reactants are added.
Liquid ammonia is used for treatment of cotton materials, give a properties like mercerization using alkalis. In particular, it is used for pre-washing of wool.
• Lifting gas
At standard temperature and pressure ammonia is lighter than air, and has approximately 60% of the lifting power of hydrogen or helium. Ammonia has sometimes been used to fill weather balloons as a lifting gas. Because of its relatively high boiling point (compared to helium and hydrogen), ammonia could potentially be refrigerated and liquefied aboard an airship to reduce lift and add ballast (and returned to a gas to add lift and reduce ballast).
Ammonia was historically used to darken quarter sawn white oak in Arts & Crafts and Mission style furniture. Ammonia fumes react with the natural tannins in the wood and cause it to change colors.
Asian market review
Asian ammonia prices declined between late May and early July 2010 on the back of improved availability in southeast Asia (SE Asia) and the Middle East, falling values in Tampa and Yuzhny, and low spot sales to India.
Prices dropped from $405-425/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia in May to $335-350/tonne CFR Asia in early July. However, as feedstock prices rose and ammonia demand in Asia, the US and Europe started to improve in mid-July, ammonia prices experienced a slow recovery. Numbers climbed to $370-395/tonne CFR Asia by the beginning of August.
Prices continue to be exposed to upward pressure as Ukrainian production costs have increased and producers in the region may cut back production due to the slimming margins. This may result in more Middle East ammonia to move to Europe and leave less product available for Asian consumption.
On the other hand, new production capacity scheduled to come on stream in the Middle East in the fourth quarter is anticipated to exert downward pressure on Asia's ammonia pricing. Demand in the region is not expected to increase significantly over the next few months.
European market review
Yuzhny ammonia prices were braced for further declines in mid-May, after falling $70-80/tonne since early April to $310-315/tonne FOB (free on board) on the back of additional availability from Yuzhny/Baltic and US buyers stepping out of the market. By the end of the month prices had dropped to $305-310/tonne FOB. There were hopes that announced production cutbacks in the Ukraine would help to balance the market, but with the slow summer months approaching prices were still expected to slip further before reaching a floor.
In June, prices hit the bottom, dropping to $290-295/tonne FOB. There were even indications of netbacks in the $280s/tonne FOB from CFR sales to Turkey and Morocco, but no business was confirmed at that level.
As July approached the market became more bullish on speculation that gas prices in the Ukraine could increase, potentially limiting supply, and also on expectations that US demand ahead of the fall season would start to emerge.
At the start of the month, business was reported at $308/tonne FOB and prices quickly rose to $325-330/tonne FOB by the end of the month. There was also reduced availability due to maintenance at Gorlovka with low tank levels at the port and good demand.
Moving into August, prices strengthened further on tight supply for prompt shipment and additional US import demand. Business was concluded at $350/tonne FOB and there were rumours of a deal at $355/tonne FOB. Higher Ukrainian gas prices from 1 August will raise production costs and September cargoes are expected to be concluded in the $360-370/tonne FOB range.
US market review
US ammonia prices moved higher in the three months to mid-August following a strong spring application season and a need for the system to refill ahead of the fall post-harvest applications.
Farmers were generally able to plant early in the season meaning that harvest would come several weeks early, possibly beginning in late August-early September in many areas. Farmers are expected by the US Department of Agriculture to harvest more than 81m acres of corn.
In June, the benchmark US ammonia contract settled at $375/tonne CFR Tampa, a decrease of $30/tonne from the May contract. The July contract settled at $355/tonne CFR, and August settled at $380/tonne.
Looking forward, market sources indicated that ammonia prices could go higher, with September expected to break above $400/tonne CFR Tampa.
PRODUCTION OF SYNTHETIC NH3:
Population growth figures are often used to show fertlizer demand. The average increase in nitrogen nutrient consumption per population unit represents the increased rate of consumption over and above that due to population increase. This pattern for nitrogen nutrient consumption which is shown gives evey indication of continuing at an equal or increased rate. (Sauchelli, 1965)
The entire NH3 process can be described in three steps: synthesis gas preperation, purification, and ammonia synthesis. Synthesis gas preparation includes the generation of hydrogen and the suitable introduction of nitrogen. Purification involves the removal of CO2 and CO, the elimination of catalyst poisons, and the preparation of the required stochiometric ratio of hydrogen and nitrogen (3:1). Ammonia synthesis covers the catalytic fixation of nitrogen at high temperatures and pressures and the recovery of the ammonia product. Although there have been many changes in these steps, the most important ones have been in synthetic gas preparation. Such developments were helped by the rise in the supply of natural gas and the availability of fuels derived from petroleum, which have made an increase in the hydrogen source for ammonia processes.
Specific feedstock, some of their characteristics and applicable synthesis-gas-preparation processes are shown in Tables 2 and 3. It can be seen from Table 3 that the processes of interest are non-catalytic partial oxidation and steam-hydrocarbon reforming. Generally, low temperature processes as a primary method of production and catalytic partial oxidation as a single step method for producing hydrogen is a special situation.
The steam-hydrocarbon reforming process has gained wide acceptance. The growth of this process since the beginning of non-catalytic partial oxidation is based on coupling competitive investment and utilities cost with the relative ease of operation afforded by the elimination of the air-plant and carbon-removal problems. The non-catalytic partial oxidation process is now employed mainly in areas where reformable feeds are unavailable, i.e. where only heavy oils and solid carbonaceous materials can be used or in situations where special conditions exist that provide favorable economics.
Usually, as molecular weight increases, the difficulty and cost of processing increases. With few exceptions (especially coke-oven gas), it can be stated that the most economic feedstock will be the one with the highest H2/C ratio
As a greater portion of hydrogen is produced from carbon, the requirements for reaction, the catalyst, and for carbon dioxide removal increase, leading to higher investment and operating costs.
The processes listed in Table 3 are diagrammatically shown in Figures 1a,1b,1c and 1d. They are typical schemes and show the usual methods for synthesis gas generation. Purification and heat recovery will vary according to the case.
Non-catalytic Partial Oxidation
In a typical unit for preparation of raw hydrogen enriched by partial oxidation, the hydrocarbon feedstock and oxygen or oxygen-enriched air are preheated separately and injected into a refractory lined chamber where reaction takes place at temperatures between 1093.3 and 1482.2°C and pressures up to 500 psig. With heavy hydrocarbons, steam is added to maintain the flow velocity, inhibit cracking during preheat, control carbon formation, and reduce the high adiabatic flame temperature which would result from the low hydrogen to carbon ratio of these fuels.
The basis of this process is the exothermic reaction of oxygen and methane. This reaction was studied by Padovani around 1933, at atmospheric pressure in the presence of a nickel catalyst. The process was commercialized somewhat later by Schiller, et.al. at Oppau in Germany. Like Padovani, they carried out the reaction at atmospheric pressure using a nickel catalyst. Oxygen and methane were premixed and fed to a reactor through small openings in a refractory burner block at velocities above the rate of flame propagation. Hydrocarbon Research worked on a pressurized version of the same process subsequent to World War II. (Sauchelli, 1964)
In conventional operations, the make gas in partial oxidation units has a high CO/CO2 ratio, i.e. from about 18 for natural gas to about 9 for fuel oil. The CO/H2 is high and dependent on the feedstock. The carbon make also varies with feedstock and may go from negligible quantities for natural gas to as high as 2 to 4 per cent of the feed for fuel oil. In some early partial oxidation plants running on heavy feeds, unconverted carbon particles in the effluent gas from the generator have been a recurrent problem. Because of this, considerable emphasis has been placed on the development of designs for scrubbing the carbon from the gas, for recovering the water, and disposing of the carbon.
The treatment of the generated gas in partial oxidation units varies in commercial practice. For example, in the Texaco process, the generation effluent usually is water quenched and water scrubbed and delivered saturated at 300 to 500 psig and approximately 204.4°C. However, in some Texaco plants, as well as in the Shell and Montecatini processes, part of the heat in the gas is used to make steam and the gas is cooled to about 37.7°C. If shift conversion is necessary, these gases must be reheated and resaturated. (Sauchelli, 1964)
The steam-hydrocarbon reforming process operates through the endothermic reaction of steam and hydrocarbons over a catalyst, which is usually nickel on a refractory base. The reaction heat may be supplied by the sensible heat of the reactants; external firing of the catalyst-filled reaction chamber; internal combustion of a portion of the gas using air, oxygen-enriched air, or high purity oxygen; or by a combination of these methods. Composition of the effluent gas is a function of the reactant ratio, the pressure, the temperature, and the time spent in contact with the catalyst.
Synthesis gas was produced to obtain hydrogen for refinery operations. Later, one or two other units were constructed for the same purpose, but it wasn’t until 1941 at the Imperial Chemical Industries’ unit in Canada that a reforming unit was operated for the preparation of ammonia synthesis gas.
Feed materials used in steam-hydrocarbon reforming units often need pretreatment, since the catalysis used are sensitive to sulfur and may crack olefins under certain conditions, resulting in carbon formation. Hydrogen sulfide can be removed by reaction with iron oxide. Mercaptans are removed by adsorption on activated carbon. Hydrodesulphurization is required for feedstock containing refractory sulfur compounds.
After desulphurization, the gas is joined with steam and preheated in the convection section of the reforming furnace. The preheated steam gas mixture then enters the tubes in the radiant section of the furnace and passes over the catalyst where the reaction takes place. The hot gas from the primary reformer flows directly to the secondary reformer where it is joined with air over a bed of catalyst. The quantity of air used is required to make a 3 to 1 H2/N2 ratio in the purified synthesis gas. Combustion of a portion of the gas with oxygen in the air supplies heat for further reaction and raises the temperature to permit very low methane content in the effluent gas.(Nielsson,1987)
Synthesis Gas Purification
After the generation of synthesis gas by non-catalytic partial oxidation or steam-hydrocarbon reforming, various combinations of purification processes accomplishing the same objectives are used. These consist of the catalytic reaction of carbon monoxide and water to produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide in the water-gas shift reaction, removal of carbon dioxide and any sulfur compounds, and removal of residual carbon monoxide.
Since ammonia-synthesis gas should consist exclusively of a 3 to 1 mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen, the contaminants which must be eliminated or reduced to economic proportions are:
1. Solids or materials which can become solid and block the equipment, pollute solutions, and foul catalysts. These include carbon, oil vapors, unsaturated hydrocarbons, water vapor, ash and metal oxides.
2. Gases which are corrosive to equipment and poisonous to catalysts. These include sulfur compounds, oxygen, water vapor and carbon oxides.
3. All gases other than hydrogen or nitrogen which can accumulate as inerts in the ammonia-synthesis recycle system. The synthesis recycle system must be purged in proportion to the presence of these materials which include argon, methane and helium.
Carbon dioxide and any trace amounts of H2S can be removed by many scrubbing methods some of which are circulating regenerative monoethanolamine, water washing, ht potassium carbonate, and Giammarco-Vetro-coke solution. Residual carbon monoxide can be removed by using a regenerative solution of cuprous ammonium acetate, cuprous ammonium formate, or a combination of the two in a scrubbing step which it carried out at pressures ranging from 1600 to 4700 psig. This is followed by caustic washing for removal of trace amounts of carbon dioxide. Other systems used for removal of carbon monoxide are catalytic methanation and liquid nitrogen scrubbing. In methanation, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxygen are catalytically reacted with hydrogen at high temperatures to produce methane and water. The water produced is condensed prior to delivering synthesis gas to the ammonia-conversion system. Liquid nitrogen scrubbing is used normally in conjunction with partial oxidation processes, since the nitrogen is available from the air separation plant. This system not only removes carbon monoxide but also reduces inert as well.
Although inert do not deactivate the ammonia-synthesis catalyst, their presence in the synthesis reduces the partial pressure of the reacting hydrogen and nitrogen, thereby decreasing the rate of the synthesis reaction. The purified synthesis gas feed in plants using copper liquor and/or catalytic methanation contains from 0.4 to 2.0% inert consisting of residual methane plus argon from the incoming air and any helium present in the hydrocarbon feedstock. Carbon oxides as well as other oxygen-bearing compounds normally are maintained at 10 ppm or less. With liquid nitrogen scrubbing, argon is controlled to about 250 ppm. Otherwise, it is not controlled and is purged from the synthesis loop along with other inert.
Ammonia synthesis is carried out through the exothermic reaction of hydrogen and nitrogen at elevated pressure for high equilibrium conversion, at elevated temperature for high rate of reaction, and over a catalyst in order to activate the reaction and improve the approach to equilibrium. The reaction was first achieved commercially in Germany by Haber-Bosch in the 1910s. In this commercial unit, the converter containing iron catalyst was operated once through at about 3000 psig and 537.8°C. The 5 to 10% ammonia in effluent gas was recovered by water scrubbing. Later, the unit was modified to include recirculation of the unreacted gas. This basic processing concept is still employed in present plant designs. Improvements have been made in the selection of operating conditions, design of converter internals, method used for covering product ammonia, type of recirculation system, and choice of synthesis catalyst.
Increasing the operating pressure beyond Haber’s improves liquid-product recovery and increases the ammonia content of the effluent gas. However, higher pressure reduces the thermodynamic efficiency and raises synthesis-gas-compressor horsepower. Increasing the operating temperature improves the reaction rate and the thermodynamic efficiency, but favors the decomposition of ammonia. It also reduces the life of the catalyst and increases the cost of the high alloy heat-exchange equipment. According to current design practice, the range of temperature for satisfactory catalyst performance is from 482.2 to 565.5°C. On the other hand, commercial operating pressure extends from 1500 to 15000 psig, depending on the system used, though the intermediate pressure processes (from 3700 to 5300 psig) account for about 50% of capacity in both US and Europe. (Sauchelli, 1964)
Present ammonia converters consist of a cartridge including a catalyst section or basket and a heat exchanger or interchanger, which serves to preheat incoming synthesis gas to the initiation temperature of the reaction. The converter cartridge, which is of alloy construction and usually insulated, fits into and can be withdrawn from a multi-layered or forged carbon steel pressure shell. The pressure shell is maintained below the reaction temperature by allowing cold feed gas to flow through the annular space between the pressure shell and the cartridge. Converter designs can be divided into two groups: those using a single continuous catalyst bed which may or may not have transfer surfaces or cooling tubes for controlling reaction heat, and those having several catalyst beds with provision for removing or controlling reaction heat between the beds.
A converter in its simplest form, consisting of a single charge of catalyst located above the interchanger, is illustrated in Figure 2. The flow of cold incoming gas enters between the converter shell and the basket and leaves through the outlet nozzle. This converter doesn’t possess any means for controlling reaction temperature. Because the exothermic heat of reaction must be dissipated through controlled temperature rise in this type of design, the converter must be operated at low over-all conversion efficiency limiting the concentration of ammonia in the effluent gas. Even so, the temperature gradient will be quite steep and will be a function of the catalyst volume and the inlet ammonia concentration.(Sauchelli,1964)
In certain organisms, ammonia is produced from atmospheric nitrogen by enzymes called nitrogenases. The overall process is called nitrogen fixation. Although it is unlikely that biomimetic methods will be developed that are competitive with the Haber process, intense effort has been directed toward understanding the mechanism of biological nitrogen fixation. The scientific interest in this problem is motivated by the unusual structure of the active site of the enzyme, which consists of an Fe7MoS9 ensemble.
Ammonia is also a metabolic product of amino acid deamination. Ammonia excretion is common in aquatic animals. In humans, it is quickly converted to urea, which is much less toxic. This urea is a major component of the dry weight of urine. Most reptiles, birds, as well as insects and snails solely excrete uric acid as nitrogenous waste.
6.1 MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
PRODUCT NAME: AMMONIA
1. Hazards Identification
Irritating or corrosive to exposed tissues. Inhalation of vapors may result in pulmonary edema and
chemical pneumonitis. Slightly flammable.
Mild concentrations of product will cause conjunctivitis. Contact with higher concentrations of product will
cause swelling of the eyes and lesions with a possible loss of vision.
Mild concentrations of product will cause dermatitis or conjunctivitis. Contact with higher concentrations of
product will cause caustic-like dermal burns and inflammation. Toxic level exposure may cause skin lesions
resulting in early necrosis and scarring.
Since product is a gas at room temperature, ingestion is unlikely.
Corrosive and irritating to the upper respiratory system and all mucous type tissue. Depending on the
concentration inhaled, it may cause burning sensations, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, headache,
nausea, with eventual collapse.
Inhalation of excessive amounts affects the upper airway (larynx and bronchi) by causing caustic-like burning
resulting in edema and chemical pneumonitis. If it enters the deep lung, pulmonary edema will result.
Pulmonary edema and chemical pneumonitis are potentially fatal conditions.
2. First Aid Measures
Flush contaminated eye(s) with copious quantities of water. Part eyelids to assure complete flushing. Continue
for a minimum of 15 minutes. PERSONS WITH POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO AMMONIA SHOULD NOT
WEAR CONTACT LENSES.
Remove contaminated clothing as rapidly as possible. Flush affected area with copious quantities of water. In
cases of frostbite or cryogenic "burns" flush area with lukewarm water. DO NOT USE HOT WATER. A
physician should see the patient promptly if the cryogenic "burn" has resulted in blistering o f the dermal surface
or deep tissue freezing.
Not specified. Seek immediate medical attention.
PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION IS MANDATORY IN ALL CASES OF OVEREXPOSURE. RESCUE
PERSONNEL SHOULD BE EQUIPPED WITH SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS.
Conscious persons should be assisted to an uncontaminated area and inhale fresh air. Quick removal from the
contaminated area is most important. Unconscious persons should be moved to an uncontaminated area, given
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and supplemental oxygen. Keep victim warm and q uiet. Assure that mucus or
vomited material does not obstruct the airway by positional drainage.
3. Fire Fighting Measures
FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARDS:
The minimum ignition energy for ammonia is very high. It is approximately 500 times greater than the energy
required for igniting hydrocarbons and 1000 to 10,000 times greater than that required for hydrogen.
Water fog. Use media suitable for surrounding fire.
FIRE FIGHTING INSTRUCTIONS:
If possible, stop the flow of gas. Since ammonia is soluble in water, it is the best extinguishing media--not only
in extinguishing the fire, but also absorbing the escaped ammonia gas. Use water spray to cool surrounding
4. Handling and Storage
Class 1, Group D.
Earth-ground and bond all lines and equipment associated with the ammonia system. Electrical equipment
should be non-sparking or explosion proof.
Gaseous or liquid anhydrous ammonia corrodes certain metals at ambient temperatures. The presence of oxygen
enhances the corrosion of ordinary or semi-alloy steels. The addition of water inhibits this enhancement. Keep
anhydrous ammonia systems scrupulously dry.
Use only in well-ventilated areas. Valve protection caps must remain in place unless container is secured with
valve outlet piped to use point. Do not drag, slide or roll cylinders. Use a suitable hand truck for cylinder
movement. Use a pressure regulator when connecting cylinder to lower pressure (<500 psig) piping or systems.
Do not heat cylinder by any means to increase the discharge rate of product from the cylinder. Use a check
valve to trap in the discharge line to prevent hazardous back flow into the cylinder.
Cylinders should be stored upright and firmly secured to prevent falling or being knocked over. Full and empty
cylinders should be segregated. Use a "first in-first out" inventory system to prevent full cylinders from being
stored for excessive periods of time.
For additional handling recommendations, consult Compressed Gas Association Pamphlets P-1 and G2.
Never carry a compressed gas cylinder or a container of a gas in cryogenic liquid form in an enclosed space such
as a car trunk, van or station wagon. A leak can result in a fire, explosion, asphyxiation or a toxic exposure.
5. Accidental Release Measures
Evacuate all personnel from affected area. Use appropriate protective equipment. If leak is in user’s equipment,
be certain to purge piping with inert gas prior to attempting repairs. If leak is in container or container valve,
contact the appropriate emergency telephone number listed in Section 1 or call your closest BOC location.
6. Exposure Controls, Personal Protection
Use local exhaust ventilation to reduce concentrations to within current exposure limits. A laboratory type hood
is suitable for handling small or limited quantities.
Gas tight chemical goggles or full-face piece respirator.
Protective gloves made of any suitable material.
Level C respiratory protection with full face piece or self-contained breathing apparatus should be available for
emergency use. Air purifying respirators must be equipped with suitable cartridges. Do not exceed maximum
use concentrations. Do not use air purifying respirators in oxygen deficient/immediately dangerous to life
and health (IDLH) atmosphere. Consult manufacturer’s instructions before use.
Safety shoes, safety shower, eyewash "fountain".
7. Stability and Reactivity
CONDITIONS TO AVOID (STABILITY):
Reacts vigorously with fluorine, chlorine, HCl, HBr, nitrosyl chloride, chromyl chloride, nitrogen dioxide,
trioxygen difluoride, and nitrogen trichloride.
In this report, general information about ammonia was presented. The uses, manufacture processes economics and finally safety data of ammonia were also portrayed.