Skip to comments.Ammonium nitrate fire forces mass evacuation
Posted on 07/30/2009 10:23:50 PM PDT by Cindy
SNIPPET: "As the situation eased, officials scaled back the number of mandatory evacuations. As of 8:50 p.m., only about 1,000 people were affected by the evacuations."
SNIPPET: "John Carver with El Dorado Chemicals reports the plant on Highway 21 is a "typical dry blend fertilizer" facility. He reports a crew was welding in an empty ammonia nitrate storage bin when a spark started a small, smoldering fire.
Two workers were in the building at the time of the fire; both escaped uninjured.
Firefighters quickly responded to the scene only to discover they could not use water to battle the fire."
(Excerpt) Read more at kxxv.com ...
As a matter of fact, yes. It did get a code maroon..
I didn’t know ammonium nitrate could burn. Explode, yes, but burn? Slow burning?
Even for it to become explosive, it needs things like fuel oil, correct?
LOL...I was going to say something about that and decided not to.
I’ll leave it there.
Yes, and this fire was caused by welder’s sparks.
Thanks for sharing history, though.
Now if you are reading the Anarchist cookbook, yeah, diesel fuel is recommended.
Ammonium Nitrate is rated “very slightly” flammable, but can definitely burn and (though it “helps”) it doesn’t even need oxygen from the air to burn, because the nitrate NO3 radical contains sufficient oxygen in and of itself to support (at least partial) combustion. It can start to decompose from shock, heat, or both. Impurities, particularly organics, tend to lower the shock > combustion threshold. NH4NO3, you might think of it as being 1/3rd oxygen = 3 oxys out of a total of nine atoms. Once it gets going, it can be hard to extinguish and can runaway react.
(NH4)2SO4 Ammonium Sulfate which is 4/15 oxygen = substantially *less* oxygen per molecule than A-N, is practically non-combustible and non-explosive. Maybe someone else can weigh in on why, but less oxy per molecule is certainly a major factor.
The Kansas City Ammonium Nitrate fire that killed all those firemen did not have fuel oil in the mix. In think it just blows under the right conditions, all by itself.
the nitrogen is what makes it so unstable.. think of triple bonded N2
2 NH4NO3 -> 2 N2 + 4 H2O + O2
Sounds like a Darwinian moment to me.
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