Sustainable recovery of nutrients from urine

Ammonia is a key component of fertilizer and vital in supporting plant growth and ultimately providing food for populations around the world. It is also a major pollutant that, after it is used in the food chain, enters municipal ...

Technique could enable cheaper fertilizer production

Most of the world's fertilizer is produced in large manufacturing plants, which require huge amounts of energy to generate the high temperatures and pressures needed to combine nitrogen and hydrogen into ammonia.

Ammonia has been missing in portraying air pollution impacts

Nitrogen is essential for all living things. Synthetic fertilizer, which contains rich reactive nitrogen, has sustained food production, but the nitrogen it emits is also a burden to the environment, such as air pollution, ...

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Ammonia

Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is also a building-block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals. Although in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous. In 2006, worldwide production was estimated at 146.5 million tonnes. It is used in commercial cleaning products.

Ammonia, as used commercially, is often called anhydrous ammonia. This term emphasizes the absence of water in the material. Because NH3 boils at -33.34 °C (-28.012 °F) at a pressure of 1 atmosphere, the liquid must be stored under high pressure or at low temperature. Its heat of vapourization is sufficiently high so that NH3 can be readily handled in ordinary beakers, in a fume hood (i.e., if it is already a liquid it will not boil readily). "Household ammonia" or "ammonium hydroxide" is a solution of NH3 in water. The concentration of such solutions is measured in units of baume (density), with 26 degrees baume (about 30% w/w ammonia at 15.5 °C) being the typical high concentration commercial product. Household ammonia ranges in concentration from 5 to 10 weight percent ammonia.

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