SAFETY – Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3)



* Description

Ammonia (NH3). Obtained from the process of the nitrogen and hydrogen from atmospheric at high temperature and pressure in the presence of a catalyst. Used as the cooling gas, as the basic component for the manufacture of fertilizers, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate.


* Other names:


Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3)



* OSHA: 15 I STEL: 35 ppm 24 mg / m3


* ACGIH: TWA: 25 ppm, 17 mg / m3


* NIOSHI: 50 ppm, 35 mg / m3


* ANSI LT: 20 ppm, 14 mg / m3



* Boiling point: 33.35 ° C (*)


* Molecular Weight: 17.03 g / mol


* Melting point: -77.7 ° C (*)


* Specific Gravity: 0.682 g / cm3


* Solubility: soluble (heat release)


* Vapor density: 0.597 g / cm3


* Appearance and Odor: liquefied compressed gas, colorless, with characteristic odor.


(*) Literature Data



* Stability / Polymerization: Anhydrous Ammonia is stable when stored and used under normal conditions of storage and handling. Above 450 ° C can decompose releasing nitrogen and hydrogen, polymerization does occur.


* Chemical Incompatibility: It is an alkaline gas that emits heat when it reacts with acid. In contact with halogens, boron, 1,2-dichloroethane, ethylene oxide, platinum, nitrogen triclorato strong oxidizers and can cause potentially violent, or explosive reactions. In contact with heavy metals and their compounds may form explosive products, contact with chlorine and its compounds may result in the release of chloramine gas. Ammonia produces significant explosive mixture when in contact with hydrocarbons. The product is also incompatible with acetic aldehyde, acrolein, hydrazine, potassium ferrocyanide.


* Breakdown of Dangerous Goods: NH3 thermal decomposition can produce toxic nitrous gases.



* Flashpoint: Gas at room temperature


* Auto-Ignition Temperature: 651 ° C


* LIE: 16%


* LSE: 25%


* Extinguishing Media: Shows moderate risk of fire. In case of fire in facilities, the best procedure is to stop the gas flow by closing the valve, since Ammonia in high concentrations in the air can form an explosive mixture. Therefore, it may be necessary to use water, carbon dioxide or dry powder to the flame adjacent the valve which controls the supply of gas. Use water to cool containers exposed to the fire and stop the flow of gas (water reduces the concentration of gas because its solubility of ammonia). To fire involving liquid ammonia, use dry chemical or C02 to combat it.


* Additional Risks: The NH3 has moderate risk of fire and explosion, when exposed to heat or flame. In the presence of oil and other combustible materials, the fire risk increases.


* Emergency Procedures: In case of fire exists the possibility of ammonia decomposition with release of toxic gases. Use stand-alone or sent air and PVC clothing mask.



Leak / Spill: Establish a written emergency plan for action in case of leakage of NH3. Perform hands-on training. Immediately notify security personnel, evacuate all people if necessary, remove all ignition sources and provide adequate ventilation to disperse the gas. Before you stop the spill, use water in spray form to reduce the concentration of ammonia gas around the spill site. If ammonia is liquefied, isolate the risks in the area and if possible to vaporize. Fast neutralization of large amounts of ammonia is not recommended because of heat release and exposure of people to risks.



* Anhydrous Ammonia is not considered carcinogenic by OSHA.


* Summary of risks: The Ammonia gas can be suffocating and extreme irritation to the eyes, throat and respiratory tract. Depending on the time and level of exposure, may experience effects ranging from mild irritation to severe lesions in the body, because the alkalinity of ammonia. Exposures to high concentrations can be dangerous for less susceptible individuals, with consequent adverse health effects. Exposure concentration from 2.500 ppm, for about 30 minutes can be fatal. Contact with liquid Ammonia can cause severe eye burns and skin. Extensive burns can lead to death.


* Main areas affected: Eyes, skin and respiratory system.


* Acute Effects: Inhalation can cause respiratory problems, bronchospasm, burning in the nasal mucosa, pharynx and larynx, chest pain, pulmonary edema, salivation and retention of urine. Ingestion causes nausea, vomiting and swelling of the lips, mouth and larynx. The concentrated NH3 produces contact with skin tissue necrosis and deep burns. Eye contact results in tearing, conjunctivitis, corneal irritation and temporary or permanent blindness.


* Chronic Effects: There may be chronic bronchitis with respiratory reduction.




* Eyes: The fast and immediate care is crucial. The first 10 seconds are critical to prevent blindness. Do not allow the victim to close or keep your eyes closed. Gently lift eyelids and rinse immediately with water and continue to rinse with plenty of water to referral to the doctor. Consult an ophthalmologist immediately.


* Skin: Quickly remove contaminated clothing, avoiding removal of skin parts. Wash the affected area thoroughly with water, then wash with soap and water.


* Inhalation: Remove to area not contaminadada and airy. Give oxygen if necessary. Refer to the doctor.


* Ingestion: Never give anything by mouth to unconscious or convulsing person. Being conscious person can give water and milk. Do not induce vomiting. Forward immediately to the doctor stating the product’s features.


* Note to Physician: The level of NH3 in the blood is not a useful indication on the control of exposed persons. Clinical evaluation of a pulmonary edema and respiratory failure, with its medical conduct, is more appropriate. Esophagoscopy consider whether the patient had oral and pharyngeal burns. Do not induce gastric lavage. If the amount ingested is significant, observe development of lesions in the esophagus. In the case of eye contamination, the solution used for washing should have a pH less than 8.5.



* Sunglasses: Wear safety chemical goggles or face shield.


* Masks: Use respiratory protection if necessary. In high concentrations, use SCBA.


* Please note: masks with mechanical filters do not protect workers exposed to oxygen-deficient atmosphere.


* Gloves: Use PVC gloves.


* Clothing: Use PVC clothes.


* Comments: Endowment area showers / eyewash. Never eat, drink or smoke in work area. Practice good personal hygiene especially before eating, drinking and smoking.



* Prevent physical damage to the tank, container, drums etc .. Store preferably in a covered, dry, ventilated, waterproof floor and away from incompatible materials. It is recommended that there embankments in the storage area. Control Engineering (Collective Protection): To reduce the possibility of potential health risk, ensure sufficient ventilation dilutive or existence of exhaustion in place to control the environment at low concentration levels. Administrative controls: keep the workplace within the occupational hygiene standards and ensures that employees exposed to the product to periodic medical examinations, emphasizing eye tests, skin and respiratory tract. Periodically aware employees on safe handling and risks that the Anhydrous Ammonia offers.

The information mentioned above refer to the synthesis of our knowledge and our experience with the ammonia product. Such information shall apply to the pure form of the product, according to specifications. The handler, in the case of combinations or mixtures, should make sure that they will not generate any new risk. The handler must respect – regardless of the information provided – the number of legislative, regulatory and administrative texts related to the product, hygiene and labor protection.