Ammonium nitrate is produced in various forms. It is used in fertilizer products for the agriculture industry and as a highly reactive and explosive compound for use in mining, demolition, and the military. The ammonium nitrate creation is realized in the neutralizing reaction between ammonia and nitric acid [ HNO3 + NH3 → NH4NO ] with subsequent and varying downstream processes depending on the final product form.
The solution concentration is taken to 83% ammonium nitrate during the initial neutralizing reaction section of the process. This solution is then fed into an evaporation/concentration process that increases the prevalence of ammonium nitrate to either ~95% or >99.5% depending on the requirements of the finished product. Falling-film type evaporators are typical and include DEMISTER® mist eliminators prior to the vapor outlet to minimize entrainment of the liquid solution. Final pelletized fertilizer is formed in the prill tower located downstream of the concentrator unit. FLEXIFIBER® mist eliminator units are commonly applied on the neutralizer, evaporator, and prill exhaust streams for cleanup before emitting to the atmosphere.