How is ammonia used to make fertilizers?

date:2023-07-13

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Tongli Heavy Machinery Manufacturer is a company specializing in the production of npk fertilizer production line and fertilizer granulator machine. Our fertilizer production machines can professionally produce NPK fertilizers. In the process of daily fertilizer production, ammonia is an important raw material used in the manufacture of fertilizers and is widely used in the agricultural industry. Ammonia is a compound that contains nitrogen, which plays a crucial role in plant growth. When combined with other substances, ammonia can be used to produce different types of fertilizers to meet the nutrient requirements of different plants.

 

The process of manufacturing ammonia-based fertilizers typically involves the Haber-Bosch process, which is a catalytic reaction method. The following will provide a detailed explanation of the manufacturing process of ammonia-based fertilizers and their applications in agriculture.

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1. Manufacturing process of ammonia:

The primary method for manufacturing ammonia involves the reaction of hydrogen and nitrogen under high temperature and pressure conditions. This process is known as the Haber-Bosch process, named after the German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch.

 

In this process, nitrogen is extracted from the air, while hydrogen is obtained from natural gas or other petroleum products. Firstly, nitrogen and hydrogen are mixed and introduced into a reactor containing a catalyst, usually iron or iron-zirconium alloy. The high temperature (typically between 400 to 500 degrees Celsius) and high pressure (typically between 100 to 200 megapascals) inside the reactor facilitate the reaction between nitrogen and hydrogen.

 

During the reaction, nitrogen and hydrogen combine on the reactive sites of the catalyst's surface to form ammonia molecules. Once the reaction is complete, the produced ammonia gas separates from the catalyst and is cooled and compressed, ultimately converting it into liquid ammonia. This provides the ammonia required for manufacturing fertilizers.

 

2. Application of ammonia-based fertilizers:

Ammonia is the basic raw material for manufacturing fertilizers, and depending on different formulations and processing methods, various types of ammonia-based fertilizers can be produced. The main types of ammonia-based fertilizers include urea, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium phosphate.

 

- Urea: Urea is an ammonia-based fertilizer with a high concentration of nitrogen. It is the product of the reaction between ammonia and carbon dioxide in the presence of a catalyst. Urea is widely used for fertilizing crops, providing the necessary nitrogen source for plant growth and development.

 

- Ammonium nitrate: Ammonium nitrate is a compound fertilizer containing nitrogen and ammonium ions. It is produced through the reaction of ammonia and nitric acid, providing a rapidly available nitrogen source and soluble salts. Ammonium nitrate is extensively used for top-dressing crops and in irrigation systems to meet the nutrient requirements of plants during their growth period.

 

- Ammonium phosphate: Ammonium phosphate is a compound fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus elements. It is produced by reacting ammonia with phosphoric acid, providing both nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients required by plants. Ammonium phosphate is suitable for various crops, particularly those that require a higher phosphorus content, such as corn and wheat.

 

In addition to these main types of ammonia-based fertilizers, other amino compounds are used for specific agricultural applications, such as amino acid fertilizers and amino-nitro acid fertilizers (also known as amino acid fertilizers) and ammonium nitrate.

 

- Amino acid fertilizers: Amino acid fertilizers are nitrogen-containing fertilizers composed of amino acids and other nutrients. Amino acids are essential organic compounds for plant growth and can promote root development, increase stress resistance, and enhance yield. Amino acid fertilizers provide nitrogen and other essential nutrients, meeting the plant's nutritional requirements and improving soil quality.

 

- Amino-nitro acid fertilizers: Amino-nitro acid fertilizers are compound fertilizers containing nitrogen and nitrate ions. It is a mixture of ammonia and nitric acid, providing a rapidly available nitrogen source and other essential nutrients. Amino-nitro acid fertilizers are commonly used for top-dressing crops and in irrigation systems to meet the nutrient requirements of plants at different growth stages. They have high solubility and absorption efficiency, helping plants quickly absorb nutrients and promote growth.

 

Amino acid fertilizers and amino-nitro acid fertilizers have several applications in agriculture:

 

1. Nutrient supply: Amino acid fertilizers and amino-nitro acid fertilizers contain nitrogen, providing important nutrients for plants. These fertilizers can meet the plant's nitrogen requirements, promoting healthy growth and development.

 

2. Stimulating plant growth: The amino acids in amino acid fertilizers can stimulate root development and increase plants' resistance to adversity. The nitrate ions in amino-nitro acid fertilizers can be rapidly absorbed and utilized, swiftly promoting plant growth and development.

 

3. Soil quality improvement: The use of amino acid fertilizers and amino-nitro acid fertilizers improves the physical and chemical properties of the soil.3. Soil quality improvement: The use of amino acid fertilizers and amino-nitrogen fertilizers improves the physical and chemical properties of the soil. They enhance soil water retention, aeration, and microbial activity, leading to improved fertility and nutrient availability for plants.

 

4. Stress tolerance: Amino acid fertilizers contain amino acids that help plants cope with environmental stress factors such as drought, temperature extremes, and disease. They enhance the plant's ability to withstand adverse conditions and maintain optimal growth.

 

5. Crop yield and quality: The balanced supply of nitrogen and other essential nutrients through amino acid fertilizers and amino-nitrogen fertilizers promotes higher crop yields and better quality produce. These fertilizers contribute to increased biomass production, improved flowering and fruiting, and enhanced nutrient content in crops.

 

It is important to note that while ammonia-based fertilizers provide valuable nutrients for plants, their usage should be managed carefully to avoid over-application or improper timing, which can lead to environmental pollution and negative impacts on ecosystems. Sustainable agricultural practices, including proper fertilizer application techniques and soil testing, should be employed to ensure efficient and responsible use of ammonia-based fertilizers.