Ammonium Nitrate vs Ammonium Sulphate
Ammonium nitrate and ammonium Sulphate are two salts of ammonia that are widely used for various purposes. Ammonium nitrate is also used as an ingredient in explosives but its main use is in agriculture as a fertilizer. Ammonium Sulphate is also an inorganic salt of ammonia. It is used as a fertilizer for soil. Let us see the difference between the two salts.
It has a chemical formula of (NH4)2SO4 and is a white powder like substance. It contains 21% nitrogen and 24% sulfur in the form of Sulphate ions. It acts as a soil fertilizer as it helps in reducing the pH value of the soil thus making it ideal for plant growth.
Also known as nitrate of ammonia, it is a white crystalline solid. Having a chemical formula of NH4NO3, it has high percentage of nitrogen that is used by soil as a fertilizer. It is an oxidizing agent in many explosives.
Difference between Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Sulphate
While ammonium nitrate is the result of a reaction between ammonia and nitric acid, it is ammonium Sulphate that is produced when ammonia reacts with sulfuric acid. Despite having nitrogen as a common substance in both the salts, they have different physical and chemical properties. Sulphate ions in ammonium Sulphate work as a stimulant for soils that are alkaline. These ions help to decrease the pH value of the soil making it ideal for the growth of plants. This is why ammonium nitrate finds wide use in fertilizer industry. Ammonium nitrate can be sprinkled in soil like a spray or one can spray it in the powder form.
Though ammonium nitrate also works as a soil fertilizer, it is better suited for acidic soils and hence it is prudent to get the quality of your soil checked before finalizing one of the two fertilizers. Ammonium nitrate is also used as cold packs as it releases exothermic energy when added to water making the product cold.
Apart from these differences there is another use of ammonium nitrate and that is as an active ingredient in explosives.
• Both Ammonium Sulphate and Ammonium Nitrate are salts of ammonia.
• Both find use as soil fertilizers, but while Sulphate ions are suitable for alkaline soils, nitrate ions are more suitable for acidic soils.
• Ammonium nitrate is also used in making explosives while ammonium Sulphate cannot be used in explosives.