For real-time national and regional weather updates including notifications on conditions that may impact current travel routes, click here.

Safely Handling Anhydrous Ammonia

Written on: March 13, 2023

C Three Ensures Hazardous Materials Transport Safety

hazmat safety eastern u.s. When it comes to ammonia, most people tend to think of household cleaning products such as bath and window cleaners.

Anhydrous ammonia, however, has many other applications in the commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors.

As anhydrous ammonia is classified as a hazardous material, you need a specialized logistics and transport company to make sure transport and delivery are done in accordance with strict safety regulations and standards. It’s why C Three Logistics has a fleet dedicated to exclusively transporting anhydrous ammonia.

Safety and Care at Every Turn

We proudly partner with Responsible Care®, the American Chemistry Council’s initiative to ensure high standards of health, environmental protection, safety, and security.

With Responsible Care®, we are committed to providing our employees and drivers with thorough training concerning the transport of materials like anhydrous ammonia, so you can be confident in our work.

Every single one of our drivers is CETP trained and certified. They’ve also undergone rigorous, specialized training in the safe handling and transport of anhydrous ammonia, which includes the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

What is Anhydrous Ammonia?

Ammonia, with its chemical formula of NH3—made up of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms per molecule—is a highly effective fertilizer due to the abundance of nitrogen it provides. The atomic weight of nitrogen is significantly heavier than that of hydrogen, resulting in a ratio composed of 82.5% nitrogen and 17.5% hydrogen.

Anhydrous ammonia does not include water molecules; this sets it apart from the common ammonia-and-water solutions.

Approximately 80% of anhydrous ammonia produced in the United States is used on farms as fertilizer. The biggest agricultural user of anhydrous ammonia is large-scale corn and wheat farms. Before the planting season begins, anhydrous ammonia is injected into every other row of soil to create pockets of fertilizer. This must be done prior to sowing as direct contact with plants will burn and kill the seedlings and plants. Allowing three to five days for proper dispersion ensures that the plantings are safe from any potential burn or harm.

Anhydrous ammonia is also used for industrial refrigeration, mostly in large-scale food production. Companies prefer this type of refrigerant system because it is the most cost-effective solution and doesn’t harm the ozone layer like other well-known CFCs.

Why is Anhydrous Ammonia Hazardous?

Stored as a pressurized liquid, anhydrous ammonia can be lethal when released and made airborne; as it transitions into a toxic gas.

Released into the ambient air, liquid anhydrous ammonia will increase by a proportion of 850 times and can produce large clouds of vapor. It has the potential to aerosolize and behave like a dense gas even though it is generally lighter than air. Anhydrous ammonia can cause water vapor to condense and form a visible white cloud. As such, this dense gas has an increased chance of exposure for workers, emergency responders, and members of the public since it travels close to the ground instead of dispersing upwards immediately.

Anhydrous ammonia is a potent alkali that can cause severe tissue damage to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. This hazardous compound is tremendously attracted to water, causing it to create an instant freeze-drying when touching body tissue, leading to its damaging and drying impacts that can cause serious injuries or even death if exposed.

If you’re looking for safe, reliable transport of anhydrous ammonia, contact C Three Logistics for more information about our network of services.