Ball-and-stick model of the diamminesilver(I) cation, [Ag(NH3)2]+
A farmer spreading manure to improve soil fertility
Ball-and-stick model of the tetraamminediaquacopper(II) cation, [Cu(NH3)4(H2O)2](2+)
World population supported with and without synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
Jabir ibn Hayyan
Founded in 1812, Mirat, producer of manures and fertilizers, is claimed to be the oldest industrial business in Salamanca (Spain).
This high-pressure reactor was built in 1921 by BASF in Ludwigshafen and was re-erected on the premises of the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.
Six tomato plants grown with and without nitrate fertilizer on nutrient-poor sand/clay soil. One of the plants in the nutrient-poor soil has died.
A train carrying Anhydrous Ammonia.
Inorganic fertilizer use by region
Liquid ammonia bottle
Total nitrogenous fertilizer consumption per region, measured in tonnes of total nutrient per year.
Household ammonia
An apatite mine in Siilinjärvi, Finland.
Ammoniacal Gas Engine Streetcar in New Orleans drawn by Alfred Waud in 1871.
Compost bin for small-scale production of organic fertilizer
The X-15 aircraft used ammonia as one component fuel of its rocket engine
A large commercial compost operation
Anti-meth sign on tank of anhydrous ammonia, Otley, Iowa. Anhydrous ammonia is a common farm fertilizer that is also a critical ingredient in making methamphetamine. In 2005, Iowa used grant money to give out thousands of locks to prevent criminals from getting into the tanks.
Applying superphosphate fertilizer by hand, New Zealand, 1938
The world's longest ammonia pipeline (roughly 2400 km long), running from the TogliattiAzot plant in Russia to Odessa in Ukraine
Fertilizer burn
Hydrochloric acid sample releasing HCl fumes, which are reacting with ammonia fumes to produce a white smoke of ammonium chloride.
N-Butylthiophosphoryltriamide, an enhanced efficiency fertilizer.
Production trend of ammonia between 1947 and 2007
Fertilizer use (2018). From FAO's World Food and Agriculture – Statistical Yearbook 2020
Main symptoms of hyperammonemia (ammonia reaching toxic concentrations).
The diagram displays the statistics of fertilizer consumption in western and central European counties from data published by The World Bank for 2012.
Ammonia occurs in the atmospheres of the outer giant planets such as Jupiter (0.026% ammonia), Saturn (0.012% ammonia), and in the atmospheres and ices of Uranus and Neptune.
Runoff of soil and fertilizer during a rain storm
Large pile of phosphogypsum waste near Fort Meade, Florida.
Red circles show the location and size of many dead zones.
Global methane concentrations (surface and atmospheric) for 2005; note distinct plumes

Biologically, it is a common nitrogenous waste, particularly among aquatic organisms, and it contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to 45 percent of the world's food and fertilizers.

- Ammonia

Only some bacteria and their host plants (notably legumes) can fix atmospheric nitrogen (N2) by converting it to ammonia.

- Fertilizer
Ball-and-stick model of the diamminesilver(I) cation, [Ag(NH3)2]+

9 related topics

Alpha

Daniel Rutherford, discoverer of nitrogen

Nitrogen

Chemical element with the symbol N and atomic number 7.

Chemical element with the symbol N and atomic number 7.

Daniel Rutherford, discoverer of nitrogen
The shapes of the five orbitals occupied in nitrogen. The two colours show the phase or sign of the wave function in each region. From left to right: 1s, 2s (cutaway to show internal structure), 2px, 2py, 2pz.
Table of nuclides (Segrè chart) from carbon to fluorine (including nitrogen). Orange indicates proton emission (nuclides outside the proton drip line); pink for positron emission (inverse beta decay); black for stable nuclides; blue for electron emission (beta decay); and violet for neutron emission (nuclides outside the neutron drip line). Proton number increases going up the vertical axis and neutron number going to the right on the horizontal axis.
Molecular orbital diagram of dinitrogen molecule, N2. There are five bonding orbitals and two antibonding orbitals (marked with an asterisk; orbitals involving the inner 1s electrons not shown), giving a total bond order of three.
Solid nitrogen on the plains of Sputnik Planitia on Pluto next to water ice mountains
Structure of [Ru(NH3)5(N2)]2+ (pentaamine(dinitrogen)ruthenium(II)), the first dinitrogen complex to be discovered
Mesomeric structures of borazine, (–BH–NH–)3
Standard reduction potentials for nitrogen-containing species. Top diagram shows potentials at pH 0; bottom diagram shows potentials at pH 14.
Nitrogen trichloride
Nitrogen dioxide at −196 °C, 0 °C, 23 °C, 35 °C, and 50 °C. converts to colourless dinitrogen tetroxide at low temperatures, and reverts to  at higher temperatures.
Fuming nitric acid contaminated with yellow nitrogen dioxide
Schematic representation of the flow of nitrogen compounds through a land environment
A container vehicle carrying liquid nitrogen.

Many industrially important compounds, such as ammonia, nitric acid, organic nitrates (propellants and explosives), and cyanides, contain nitrogen.

Synthetically produced ammonia and nitrates are key industrial fertilisers, and fertiliser nitrates are key pollutants in the eutrophication of water systems.

Hydrogen atom (center) contains a single proton and a single electron. Removal of the electron gives a cation (left), whereas the addition of an electron gives an anion (right). The hydrogen anion, with its loosely held two-electron cloud, has a larger radius than the neutral atom, which in turn is much larger than the bare proton of the cation. Hydrogen forms the only charge-+1 cation that has no electrons, but even cations that (unlike hydrogen) retain one or more electrons are still smaller than the neutral atoms or molecules from which they are derived.

Ammonium nitrate

Chemical compound with the chemical formula NH4NO3.

Chemical compound with the chemical formula NH4NO3.

Hydrogen atom (center) contains a single proton and a single electron. Removal of the electron gives a cation (left), whereas the addition of an electron gives an anion (right). The hydrogen anion, with its loosely held two-electron cloud, has a larger radius than the neutral atom, which in turn is much larger than the bare proton of the cation. Hydrogen forms the only charge-+1 cation that has no electrons, but even cations that (unlike hydrogen) retain one or more electrons are still smaller than the neutral atoms or molecules from which they are derived.

It is predominantly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

Ca(NO3)2 + 2 NH3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NH4NO3 + CaCO3

Fritz Haber, 1918

Haber process

Artificial nitrogen fixation process and is the main industrial procedure for the production of ammonia today.

Artificial nitrogen fixation process and is the main industrial procedure for the production of ammonia today.

Fritz Haber, 1918
A historical (1921) high-pressure steel reactor for production of ammonia via the Haber process is displayed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
First reactor at the Oppau plant in 1913
Profiles of the active components of heterogeneous catalysts; the top right figure shows the profile of a shell catalyst.
Modern ammonia reactor with heat exchanger modules: The cold gas mixture is preheated to reaction temperature in heat exchangers by the reaction heat and cools in turn the produced ammonia.
Energy diagram
Industrial fertilizer plant

The process converts atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) by a reaction with hydrogen (H2) using a metal catalyst under high temperatures and pressures:

Although the Haber process is mainly used to produce fertilizer today, during World War I it provided Germany with a source of ammonia for the production of explosives, compensating for the Allied Powers' trade blockade on Chilean saltpeter.

Fuming nitric acid contaminated with yellow nitrogen dioxide

Nitric acid

Inorganic compound with the formula HNO3.

Inorganic compound with the formula HNO3.

Fuming nitric acid contaminated with yellow nitrogen dioxide
Two major resonance representations of HNO3
Nitric acid in a laboratory

Upon adding a base such as ammonia, the color turns orange.

The main industrial use of nitric acid is for the production of fertilizers.

The nitrate ion with the partial charges shown

Nitrate

Polyatomic ion with the chemical formula.

Polyatomic ion with the chemical formula.

The nitrate ion with the partial charges shown
Canonical resonance structures for the nitrate ion
Sea surface nitrate from the World Ocean Atlas

Nitrates are produced by a number of species of nitrifying bacteria in the natural environment using ammonia or urea as a source of nitrogen and source of free energy.

Nitrates are used as fertilizers in agriculture because of their high solubility and biodegradability.

A plant in Bangladesh that produces urea fertilizer.

Urea

Organic compound with chemical formula CO2.

Organic compound with chemical formula CO2.

A plant in Bangladesh that produces urea fertilizer.
Urea plant using ammonium carbamate briquettes, Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory, ca. 1930

The liver forms it by combining two ammonia molecules (NH3) with a carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule in the urea cycle.

Urea is widely used in fertilizers as a source of nitrogen (N) and is an important raw material for the chemical industry.

Drops of concentrated sulfuric acid rapidly decompose a piece of cotton towel by dehydration.

Sulfuric acid

Mineral acid composed of the elements sulfur, oxygen and hydrogen, with the molecular formula H2SO4.

Mineral acid composed of the elements sulfur, oxygen and hydrogen, with the molecular formula H2SO4.

Drops of concentrated sulfuric acid rapidly decompose a piece of cotton towel by dehydration.
Solid state structure of the [D3SO4]+ ion present in [D3SO4]+[SbF6]−, synthesized by using DF in place of HF. (see text)
Rio Tinto with its highly acidic water
Sulfuric acid production in 2000
Acidic drain cleaners usually contain sulfuric acid at a high concentration which turns a piece of pH paper red and chars it instantly, demonstrating both the strong acidic nature and dehydrating property.
An acidic drain cleaner can be used to dissolve grease, hair and even tissue paper inside water pipes.
John Dalton's 1808 sulfuric acid molecule shows a central sulfur atom bonded to three oxygen atoms, or sulfur trioxide, the anhydride of sulfuric acid.
Drops of 98% sulfuric acid char a piece of tissue paper instantly. Carbon is left after the dehydration reaction staining the paper black.
Superficial chemical burn caused by two 98% sulfuric acid splashes (forearm skin)
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It is most commonly used in fertilizer manufacture, but is also important in mineral processing, oil refining, wastewater processing, and chemical synthesis.

Reacting the ammonia produced in the thermal decomposition of coal with waste sulfuric acid allows the ammonia to be crystallized out as a salt (often brown because of iron contamination) and sold into the agro-chemicals industry.

Schematic representation of the nitrogen cycle. Abiotic nitrogen fixation has been omitted.

Nitrogen fixation

Schematic representation of the nitrogen cycle. Abiotic nitrogen fixation has been omitted.
Nodules are visible on this broad bean root
A sectioned alder tree root nodule
Equipment for a study of nitrogen fixation by alpha rays (Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory, 1926)
Lightning heats the air around it breaking the bonds of starting the formation of nitrous acid.

Nitrogen fixation is a chemical process by which molecular nitrogen, with a strong triple covalent bond, in the air is converted into ammonia or related nitrogenous compounds, typically in soil or aquatic systems but also in industry.

As part of the nitrogen cycle, it is essential for agriculture and the manufacture of fertilizer.

Natural gas burner on a natural-gas-burning stove

Natural gas

Naturally occurring mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons consisting primarily of methane in addition to various smaller amounts of other higher alkanes.

Naturally occurring mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons consisting primarily of methane in addition to various smaller amounts of other higher alkanes.

Natural gas burner on a natural-gas-burning stove
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Natural gas drilling rig in Texas, USA
Countries by natural gas proven reserves (2014), based on data from The World Factbook
The location of shale gas compared to other types of gas deposits
Natural gas processing plant in Aderklaa, Lower Austria
Schematic flow diagram of a typical natural gas processing plant
Natural gas extraction by countries in cubic meters per year around 2013
Polyethylene plastic main being placed in a trench
Construction close to high pressure gas transmission pipelines is discouraged, often with standing warning signs.
Peoples Gas Manlove Field natural gas storage area in Newcomb Township, Champaign County, Illinois. In the foreground (left) is one of the numerous wells for the underground storage area, with an LNG plant, and above ground storage tanks are in the background (right).
Manhole for domestic gas supply, London, UK
A Washington, D.C. Metrobus, which runs on natural gas
The warming influence (called radiative forcing) of long-lived greenhouse gases has nearly doubled in 40 years, with carbon dioxide and methane being the dominant drivers of global warming.
A pipeline odorant injection station
Gas network emergency vehicle responding to a major fire in Kyiv, Ukraine
Natural gas prices at the Henry Hub in US dollars per million BTUs
Comparison of natural gas prices in Japan, United Kingdom, and United States, 2007–2011
US Natural Gas Marketed Production 1900 to 2012 (US EIA data)
Trends in the top five natural gas-producing countries (US EIA data)

Natural gas is a major feedstock for the production of ammonia, via the Haber process, for use in fertilizer production.