Ammonium nitrate and calcium nitrate are two chemical compounds that contain the nitrate anion, which is a polyatomic ion denoted by the chemical formula NO3–. Calcium nitrate contains one calcium cation (Ca2+) and two nitrate anions. On the other hand, ammonium nitrate contains one ammonium cation (NH4+) and only one nitrate anion. Some important properties and applications of ammonium nitrate and calcium nitrate are provided in this article.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula NH4NO3. Under standard conditions for temperature and pressure (often abbreviated to STP), ammonium nitrate is known to exist as a white crystalline solid that is made up of nitrate and ammonium ions. It is known to be highly soluble in water and hygroscopic in nature. It is important to note that ammonium nitrate does not form any hydrates when exposed to water. The molar mass of ammonium nitrate is approximately equal to 80.043 grams per mole. The density associated with this compound is roughly equal to 1.725 grams per cubic centimetre at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
The melting point of ammonium nitrate is known to correspond to 169.6 degrees Celsius. The boiling point is much harder to define since it begins undergoing a decomposition reaction at approximately 210 degrees Celsius. When ammonium nitrate is dissolved in water, the process is known to be endothermic in nature. At a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius, the solubility of ammonium nitrate in water is known to be 118 grams per 100 millilitres of water. As the temperature increases, so does the solubility of this compound in water. For example, the solubility of ammonium nitrate in water at a temperature gradient of 40 degrees Celsius is 297 grams per 100 millilitres of water.
The primary application of this compound is as a fertilizer. This compound is also used as a component of certain explosives. Ammonium nitrate can also be used in the production of instant cold packs.
Calcium nitrate (sometimes referred to as Norwegian saltpeter) is a chemical compound with the formula Ca(NO3)2. The molar mass of this compound in its anhydrous form is known to be 164.088 grams per mole. However, the molar mass of the tetrahydrate of calcium nitrate is equal to 236.15 grams per mole. Under standard conditions for temperature and pressure, this compound is known to exist as a colourless solid that is hygroscopic in nature. The density of the anhydrous form of this compound corresponds to 2.504 grams per cubic centimetre whereas the density of the tetrahydrate of calcium nitrate is equal to 1.896 grams per cubic centimetre. The melting point of this compound corresponds to 561 degrees Celsius (in its anhydrous state). Furthermore, it can also be noted that anhydrous calcium nitrate begins undergoing a decomposition reaction at a temperature gradient of 132 degrees Celsius. Calcium nitrate, like ammonium nitrate, is used in the agriculture industry as a fertilizer. This compound can also be used in wastewater treatment and in the production of concrete.