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Ammonia
Ammonia (NH3) is a colorless gas and liquid with a strong irritating characteristic odor. Although ammonia itself is toxic, the exhaust gases from the combustion of ammonia and oxygen are not. Used as the fuel in the XLR-99 engine that powered the X-15 manned spaceplane; used as the propellant in some electric engine designs; developed as the propellant in Russian nuclear-powered ICBM designs of the 1950's.

It is a relatively high-boiling gas with a vapor pressure of 8.7 bar at 20 deg C. Ammonia. is toxic, and will dissolve easily in water. It will form flammable and explosive mixtures with air. Ammonia is produced by a Haber-Bosch process, in which the elements, nitrogen and hydrogen, are united at a temperature of 500 to 600 deg C and a. pressure of approximately 200 bar in the presence of a promoted iron catalyst. It is estimated that 4 million metric tons of anhydrous synthetic ammonia were produced in 1959 in the United States, at which time the price of tank-car quantities of refrigeration-grade anhydrous ammonia was $ 80 per metric ton.

More at: 8073.



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