Urea Nitrate is a fertilizer-based high explosive. It has a destructive power similar to ammonium nitrate explosives, with a velocity of detonation. Its explosions are initiated using a blasting cap. It contains a carbonyl group. It is an odorless compound with white monoclinic leaflets appearance. Its aqueous solution is an acid. When heated to decomposition at a high temperature, it evolves toxic fumes of nitroxide also readily decomposes to urea in presence of water.
Urea Nitrate is flammable when exposed to heat. It works as a mild irritant. It is a colorless mineral. It is soluble in water, methanol, acetate, and ethanol. This crystalline solid is not soluble in nitric acid. It has a vapor pressure of 7.59X10-8 mm Hg at 25°C. The adducts formed are solid, which can be characterized by spectroscopic techniques. Urea Nitrate is stored in a cool, ventilated place, away from acute fire hazards. Also reacts violently with sodium hypophosphite and thiocyanates. It is decomposed during the evaporation of an alkaline solution.
It has several uses given below;
- It is used to solubilize mineral phosphates in soils.
- It is used for the nitration of aromatic amines.
- It works as a sensitizer for explosives.
- It serves as an organic reagent.
- It is mainly used in fertilizers.
- It is used in urea-formaldehyde resins and adhesive.
- It is useful to make feedstock, glue, and commercial products.
- It serves in the making of resin products.
In case of contact with skin necessary first aid should be given. Wash skin with soap and water. If irritation persists, seek medical attention.
It is prepared simply by the chemical reaction of urea with nitric acid.
As this reaction goes exothermic, it is better to prepare this compound at low temperatures. It can also be prepared by treating urea with nitrate salt in the presence of hydrochloric acid. It is unstable salt in basic solution as it is referred to as a weak base.
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