A deposit with thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate caused the massacre in Beirut. But what is this chemical? Here is a brief description.
COMPOSITION – NH4NO3 ammonium nitrate is a widespread nitrogen fertilizer, it is obtained from ammonia and nitric acid. Appears in the form of colorless crystalline salt. If heated it takes on a gaseous form.
EXPLOSIVE MURDER – It is a very stable compound that explodes only if connected to a detonator. It is therefore often used also to replace dynamite. It was used in August 1995 for the Oklahoma City bombing, which resulted in 168 deaths, carried out by white American fanatics. It was also used in November 2002 for the Bali bombing which killed 2002 people. The Irish independence activists of Iraq have also often used it.
POSSIBLE USES – In addition to being an explosive and as a fertilizer, ammonium nitrate can serve as a solid rocket propellant, it is used for fireworks or for the production of compound nitrogen gases. It has been industrially produced since the 1930s.