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Difference between Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Sulphate

Difference between Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Sulphate

There are many different types of ammonium compounds that can be used as fertilizers. Two of the most common are ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate. While they have many similarities, there are also some key differences between them. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at these two compounds, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

What is Ammonium Nitrate?

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound with the formula NH4NO3. It is a white crystalline solid that is highly soluble in water. Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer and as an explosive. It is also a component of some types of smoke bombs. Ammonium nitrate decomposes on heating to produce nitrogen dioxide, which is a powerful oxidizing agent. Ammonium nitrate is highly hygroscopic and will absorb moisture from the air to form aqueous solutions. Ammonium nitrate should be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent decomposition.

What is Ammonium Sulphate?

Ammonium sulphate, also known as diammonium sulfate or sulfuric acid diammonium salt, is a white crystalline solid with the formula (NH4)2SO4. Ammonium sulphate is used as a fertilizer for alkaline soils and as a feed supplement for livestock. It is also used in the manufacture of textiles, paper, and dyes. Ammonium sulphate is highly soluble in water and is deliquescent. It decomposes on heating to give ammonia and sulphur dioxide. Ammonium sulphate is an Amine Oxide which means it’s a salt of ammonium and sulfuric acid.

Ammonium sulfate’s chemical structure contains two Formula units: One Ammonia molecule + One Sulfuric Acid molecule. Ammonia is NH3 while Sulfuric acid is H2SO4. So, Ammonium sulfate’s full chemical structure would be written as H8N2O4S. The molar mass of Ammonium sulfate would be 132.14 g/mol roughly. Lastly, Ammonium sulfate is normally found in a white, granular powder form but it can also be found in pellets or crystals.

Difference between Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Sulphate

Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate are two nitrogenous fertilizers. Ammonium nitrate is a white, odorless crystal composed of NH4NO3. Ammonium sulfate is a white, odorless powder composed of (NH4)2SO4. Ammonium nitrate is highly soluble in water and is used as a nitrogen fertilizer for plants. Ammonium sulfate is less soluble in water and is used as a nitrogenous fertilizer for the soil. Ammonium nitrate decomposes to release nitrogen gas when heated, while ammonium sulfate does not decompose when heated.

Ammonium nitrate is more expensive than ammonium sulfate. Ammonium sulfate is more acidic than ammonium nitrate. Ammonium sulfate is used as a food additive, while ammonium nitrate is not used as a food additive. Ammonium sulfate is used in the textile industry, while ammonium nitrate is not used in the textile industry.


Although ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate are both nitrogen-containing fertilizers, they have different chemical structures that result in unique properties. Ammonium nitrate is more stable and less soluble than ammonium sulphate, making it a better choice for certain applications. When choosing a fertilizer, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your plants and soil type to ensure you make the best possible decision for your garden.

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