What is mixed with ammonium nitrate a bomb?

Federal investigators said yesterday the explosive used in the Oklahoma City truck bomb was ammonium nitrate fertilizer mixed with fuel oil. Its energy then ignites the dynamite or, if it is great enough, it ignites the ammonium nitrate directly. This kind of bomb is “absurdly easy to make,” according to C.W.

What is ammonium nitrate made from?

It is made by combining ammonia gas with liquid nitric acid, which itself is made from ammonia. Ammonium nitrate is classified as dangerous goods and all aspects of its use are tightly regulated.

Does ammonium nitrate need to be mixed to explode?

“Ammonium nitrate is a substance used widely in fertilisers and also commonly as an oxidiser in home-made explosives. Normally it needs the addition of a fuel to produce an explosive, but under some circumstances it can detonate.

Will ammonium nitrate explode when heated?

It is used to make fertilizers and explosives. Nitrate of ammonia explosives appears as a powder. Readily explodes if heated.

How harmful is ammonium nitrate?

It is an oxidiser considered relatively safe if uncontaminated and stored properly. But it is extremely dangerous if contaminated, mixed with fuel or stored unsafely. * A large quantity of ammonium nitrate exposed to intense heat can trigger an explosion. The larger the quantity, the more risk it will detonate.

Is ammonium nitrate safe to touch?

Under normal handling conditions, ammonium nitrate is not harmful. Ammonium nitrate forms a mild acid when mixed with water. This acid can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and skin.

At what temperature does ammonium nitrate explode?

Ammonium nitrate melts at 337 °F (170 °C) and begins to undergo decomposition when molten. Hazardous scenarios with ammonium nitrate can involve simple thermal decomposition initiated by external fire or other heating, self-sustained decomposition also known as “cigar burning,” and detonation.

Why is ammonium nitrate so powerful?

Any sudden ignition causes ammonium nitrate to decompose directly into water, nitrogen and oxygen, which explains the enormous explosive power of the salt. As ammonium nitrate is a highly explosive chemical, many countries strictly regulate its use.

Does ammonium nitrate explode when heated?

Ammonium nitrate by itself does not burn, but in contact with other combustible materials, it increases the fire hazard. A fire involving ammonium nitrate in an enclosed space could lead to an explosion. Closed containers may rupture violently when heated.

What temperature does ammonium nitrate explode?

Although it starts decomposing at temperatures of about 388 F (170 C), relatively pure ammonium nitrate does not typically explode until temperatures between 500–572 F (260–300 C) or higher are reached.

Why does ammonium nitrate explode?

Ammonium nitrate may explode due to the following factors: exposure to strong shocks (e.g. from shock waves of nearby explosions. exposure to high temperatures under confinement (e.g. in a closed pipe) a smaller detonation can trigger an explosion in larger quantities stored nearby.

How does ammonium nitrate explode?

But ammonium nitrate has a potentially lethal downside: If it comes into contact with an open flame or other ignition source, it explodes violently. The explosive force occurs when solid ammonium nitrate decomposes very rapidly into two gases, nitrous oxide and water vapor.

Will ammonium nitrate explode?

Ammonium nitrate may explode, especially when subjected to confinement or high heat, but it does not readily detonate. A critical behavior of fertilizer-grade AN — a strong oxidizer in concentrations above 33.5 percent — is that it can explode if it becomes contaminated with organic materials such as wood,…

Is ammonium nitrate combustible?

Ammonium nitrate rating is non flammable, a fire from ammonium nitrate is very unlikely, but it is a strong oxidizing agent that can cause combustible materials (such as wood, paper, and oil) to ignite. Only under extreme conditions of heat and pressure in a confined space will ammonium nitrate explode.