How to make ammonium nitrate

Guide to how to make Ammonium Nitrate with Simple Chemicals

The steps on how to make ammonium nitrate are actually pretty simple. In chemistry terms, this process simply involves mixing two substances together. In this case, these two substances are ammonia and nitric acid. There are actually a lot of gardening stores that offer ammonium nitrate. If you look it up online, a lot of companies also offer ammonium nitrates at a very competitive price. This is because ammonium nitrates are widely used as fertilizers because of its nitrogen content. Nitrogen helps in the plant’s photosynthesis and it aids in the plant’s growth as well. But since ammonium nitrate is also a component in explosives, it has been regulated by the government in some specific states in the country. Before knowing the steps on how to make ammonium nitrate at home, you need to know what actually happens when you combine ammonia and nitric acid together.

Ammonium nitrate reaction

The reaction that takes place during the combination is actually a simple double replacement type of reaction. The ammonium ion which is NH4 eventually replaces the hydrogen ion of the nitric acid. The NH4 then bonds with NO3 to form ammonium hydroxide. The excess ions which are OH and an extra hydrogen ion will form water which is H20. This will produce a lesser concentrated ammonium nitrate but evaporation can be done to increase the concentration of the ammonium nitrate. Before doing the experiment, it is important to gather all materials first. You will be needing ammonium hydroxide, nitric acid, water and some litmus paper. The litmus paper will be used to determine the acidity or alkalinity of the solution. Now these are the steps on how to make ammonium nitrate.

Mixing water and nitric acid

In a flask, you need to combine an equal amount of water with concentrated nitric acid. 100 ml will be enough. In chemistry, there is a rule that when mixing chemicals, acids should always be added to water. This process is very important since doing the opposite can alter the results. If you add water to the acid, the acid will splash all over the place and you might end up getting hurt. Once you have combined water and nitric acid, slowly add ammonium hydroxide while constantly stirring the entire mixture. This procedure may release heat. So adding ammonium hydroxide in small amounts will help cool the process. Putting the beaker on an ice bath can also help reduce the temperature. If the mixture gets too hot, it may boil and may splatter. Drop a litmus paper and check if the solution has turned alkaline. Once the litmus paper turns blue and the temperature is at its optimum, you can now gently heat the mixture until a crust is formed. The crystal product is actually ammonium nitrate. When water is present, simply let it evaporate by heating gently. Now that you know how to make ammonium nitrate, you can use the product in your garden as fertilizer. When teaching friends on how to make ammonium nitrate, it is important to inform them of the important precautions that they need to remember.