What is Ammonia?
Ammonia, as an inorganic and colorless substance, is very irritating with a pungent and suffocating odor, the usual form of which is liquid. Ammonia is a stable binary hydride and its simplest hydride , a colorless gas with a distinct pungent odor.
Ammonia is a common nitrogenous waste, especially among aquatic organisms, and by acting as a precursor and in fertilizers, it significantly contributes to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms. Ammonia, directly or indirectly, is one of iningredients in many pharmaceutical products and is used in many commercial cleaning products. This substance mainly accumulates by moving air and water downwards.
In 2013, about 148 million tons of Ammonia were produced and marketed. Urea with 55% share is the most consumed ammonia, followed by ammonium nitrate with 10%, nitric acid with 9% and ammonium phosphate with 6%. Ammonium sulfate, ammonium bicarbonate, ammonium chloride, acrylonitrile, caprolactam, hydrogen cyanide and methyl amines are other substances in the Ammonia value chain.
Applications of Ammonia
In the early twentieth century, humans were looking for a way to produce Ammonia to increase fertility in their agricultural products. After the discovery of the mass production of Ammonia called Haber, 2 billion people in the world were saved from starvation. In contrast, the annual production of 100 million tons of this substance has played a major role in environmental pollution.
Ammonia is a nutrient that contains nitrogen and is suitable for plant growth. Ammonia can be converted to nitrite (NO2) and nitrate (NO3) by bacteria and then used by plants. Nitrogen is an important factor in controlling plant growth.
Ammonia, like alkaline water (sodium hydroxide), is a base material. Like sodium hydroxide, it can react with oils and fats to form soap. As a detergent, Ammonia converts fats and oils into soap on a glass or earthen surface, and the water in the Ammonia solution dissolves the soap, so it can be removed with a sponge or paper towel. What remains is a solution of ammonium hydroxide that will completely evaporate and leave no trace on the surface.
Many factories add Ammonia to tobacco, and Ammonia increases the absorption of nicotine in the blood by up to seven times. As a result, it reaches the brain five seconds after the first pack of nicotine cigarettes and releases heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar by releasing hormones.
Animals' bodies make Ammonia from the protein in their food because they need Ammonia to neutralize uric acids. This is why it smells like Ammonia from a stable where many animals are kept or from a stall.
History of Ammonia
The ancient Romans used ammonium chloride as money and deposits. They collected ammonium ore from a place called the Temple of Jupiter, or New Libya. But Ammonia in the form of Ammonia salt was first known by Jabir Ibn Hayyan in the 8th century.
Ammonia is one of the largest synthetic products first obtained by Priestley in 1773 from heating chlorine and ammonium with lime. Later, in 1784, Bertolt discovered further research into the chemical formula and properties of ammonia. There are several methods for producing ammonia. In China, for example, Ammonia is produced from coal, but it can be said that in most countries of the world, natural gas is considered as feed for Ammonia units.
In 1900, Fritz Hobber investigated the Ammonia balance at atmospheric pressure and obtained very low concentrations of Ammonia (0.012%) at about 1000 ° C. Apart from Haber, Ostward and Nernst also studied the problems of Ammonia synthesis separately and more closely; But a number of mistakes occurred during the research process. Ostward, for example, rejected the use of iron as a previously recorded Ammonia synthesis catalyst due to an error in the experiment. Haber measurements at different atmospheric pressures indicated that higher pressures should be applied.
Ammonia production in the Middle East
Due to the natural resources and methane gas in the Middle East, we have been witnessing the production of Ammonia in the region for several years. Eight ferrous and non-ferrous catalysts are used to produce ammonia. Currently, ammonia-producing petrochemicals supply the required catalysts from reputable foreign factories. Ammonia production in petrochemical projects seems economically attractive.
The Middle East region converts 9.1 million of its 12.9 million tonnes of Ammonia to urea, 525,000 to ammonium phosphate, 300,000 to ammonium nitrate and 287,000 to acetic acid. Three countries, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are the main producers of this product in this region. Saudi Arabia with a capacity of 3,500,000 tons, Iran with 2,900,000 tons and Qatar with 2,800,000 tons are ranked first to third in Ammonia production in the region.
The Middle East is one of the most important Ammonia production hubs in the world due to its reasonable gas prices and enjoying its strategic position.
Iran is currently the second largest producer of Ammonia in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, using gas resources and strategic planning. Even though, Iran has another comparative advantage over its rival, Saudi Arabia, which is the main feedstock for its production units, gas resources.
At present, more than 15 million tons of this product are produced in the Middle East, of which more than 5 million tons are consumed domestically and about 10 million tons are exported.
On the other hand, it should be noted that there is a direct and reciprocal relationship between urea production and increasing agricultural products. Considering the increase in world population and the consumption of chemical fertilizers in a significant volume, the demand for this product increases annually.