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Self-propagating decomposition in inorganic fertilisers containing ammonium nitrate

, : Self-propagating decomposition in inorganic fertilisers containing ammonium nitrate. J Sci Food Agr 16(6): 355-368

Certain types of inorganic fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate are capable of self-propagating decomposition if locally initiated by fire or other thermal means and bulk stores have been involved in large scale incidents in several countries. This is a slow type of fuse behavior new to fertilizer technology and has been entitled cigar-burning". For cigar-burning to occur, an ammonium nitrate and a chloride content are necessary, together with a suitable rigid porous matrix that withstands high temperature. The matrix provides the cellular structure inside which the exothermic chloride-catalysed decomposition of ammonium nitrate takes place. A simple test procedure to differentiate between burning and non-burning compositions is described. Most types of commercial available fertilizers, in particular the important range based on ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphates and potassium chloride, together with any research formulations have been studied and the effect of formation on cigar-burning is detailed. Storage recommendations to avoid large scale incidents in the future are given.


DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.2740160609

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