Thematic training material for the use of ammonium nitrate/sulphate as fertilizer has been published

ID266 liquid ammonia sulphate

Ammonium nitrate/sulphate refers to ammonium nitrate/sulphate solution recovered from stripping/evaporation + scrubbing process by nitric/sulphuric acid as scrubber. It is a liquid N (and S) fertilizer. 

The stripping is performed by blowing air through N-rich waste streams while increasing temperature or pH (e.g. with CaOH) which will gasify the mineral nitrogen (NH3). This is considered a pre-treatment needed before the scrubbing N recovery process where the NH3-filled air will be washed with acidified (HNO3 or H2SO4) water (scrubbing) to capture the ammonium in liquid form (ammonium sulphate from H2SO4 or ammonium nitrate from HNO3).


Examples of ammonium nitrate/sulphate products available on the NUTRIMAN Farmer Platform

Typical nutrient content and availability for plants: 

The typical N concentration in ammonium sulphate is around 7-9%; in ammonium nitrate this is about 17%. Ammonium sulphate can also serve as a sulphur fertilizer, with concentrations varying from 7% up to 25%. Other nutrients (P and K) are not or only very limited present in these products.

Fields of application in agriculture: 

Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate can be used in conventional farming in almost all crops in open field and greenhouse farming, especially those who are nitrogen (and sulphur in  the case of ammonium sulphate) demanding. The application dose is depending on N%, N-vulnerability of the region, type of soil, crop, … (e.g. the application dose of ID 295 is 0.5-1 t/ha).

The product is liquid and has to be applied as other chemical fertilizers, by adapted machinery for applying small doses of fertilizers. The application is by preference before or at the moment of seeding/planting. Spraying these products can give leaf damage, so therefore it is recommended to inject it directly into the soil. 

Products derived from stripping & scrubbing are considered as livestock manure, and are therefore limited to max 170 kg N/ha.

Benefits for farmers

Ammonium sulphate and ammonium nitrate are odorless and suitable for replacing mineral fertilizers in agriculture. By stripping & scrubbing, it is possible to produce locally a pure nitrogen fertilizer without other nutrients. These products are potential RENURE fertilizers, meaning that they are listed as high priority products to be applied above the Nitrate Directive. In Flanders, ammonium sulphate coming from chemical air washers (e.g. ID 274 and ID 295), is already recognized as mineral fertilizer. Another advantage of this ammonium sulphate is that it is providing sulphur as added value to meet the specific requirements of some crops. 

For more information:

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