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View Diary: Texas fertilizer plant was storing highly explosive ammonium nitrate (83 comments)

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  •  Okay...just looked it up... (1+ / 0-)
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    Dogs are fuzzy

    ...and, again, I'm NOT a chemist (ironic...because the profession does run in the family, to some extent, but I'm pretty ignorant about the subject)...


    When ammonium nitrate is dissolved in water, it breaks down into its ions: ammonium and nitrate. The reaction of ammonium nitrate dissolving is unusual in that it is endothermic and dissolved ammonium nitrate will feel cool for some time. Neither the water nor ammonium nitrate are changed in any other way other than the ammonium nitrate is dissolved. However, when aqueous or dissolved ammonium nitrate is heated, the solution breaks down to release nitrous oxide, or laughing gas.

    Read more: What Happens When You Add Ammonium Nitrate to Water? |

    So, this week in West, TX there was (almost certainly) this huge explosion of nitrous oxide...then again, with all of the other chemicals there, who knows?


    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:55:05 AM PDT

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