Ammonium Sulfate

Ammonium sulfate is an inorganic salt with a variety of commercial applications, the most common as a fertilizer for alkaline soils.

The non-flammable, white, odorless powder is a chemical compound that can cause mild skin and eye irritation after long exposure. Besides use as a non-pesticidal agricultural chemical, it s used in the manufacture of dyes, flame retardants, adhesives and sealants.

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Description

Ammonium sulfate is a non-flammable, odorless, white powder that sinks and is soluble in water, and insoluble in acetone and ethanol. The chemical formula for the inorganic salt compound is (NH4)2SO4. Its CAS is 7783-20-2.

According to Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 7th edition, ammonium sulfate is produced in a direct process by introducing unpurified coke-oven gas into sulfuric acid to yield ammonium sulfate contaminated by colored tar products. In the indirect process, the ammonia is washed out of the coke-oven gas with water released with a lime suspension, and finally introduced into sulfuric acid.

In the saturator process from ammonia and sulfuric acid, neutralization and crystallization are carried out in one-and-the-same apparatus. The sulfuric acid is delivered to the suction side and the ammonia to the pressure side of the forced circulation pump. Crystallization of the metastable solution gives particle sizes generally between 0.5 and 3 mm. The salt is continuously discharged at the lower end of the saturator. The salt is separated in centrifuges, dried, and cooled. The mother liquor is returned to the saturator.

Approximately 90% of manufactured ammonium sulfate is used directly as fertilizer or processed as multicomponent mixtures. The other 10% is used in the chemical industry or processed in the production of metals.

Industrial applications for ammonium sulfate include non-pesticidal agricultural chemicals, dyes, flame retardants, intermediates, laboratory chemicals, oxidizing/reducing agents, and surface active agents.

Consumer applications  include use in the manufacture of adhesives and sealants, fabric, textile, and leather products, floor coverings, lawn and garden care products, and water treatment products.

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