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IFFCO gas leak: How dangerous is ammonia?

Topics Covered: Disaster Management.

IFFCO gas leak: How dangerous is ammonia?


A major ammonia gas leakage at the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) unit at Prayagraj.

What is Ammonia?

  • A tri-hydroid of nitrogen (NH3), ammonia is a building block for ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) that is used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertiliser.
  • It interacts immediately upon contact with moisture present in the skin, eyes, oral cavity, and respiratory tract to form ammonium hydroxide, which is very caustic and disrupts the cell membrane lipids, ultimately leading to cellular destruction.

What are main uses of ammonia?

  • Ammonia is critical in the manufacturing of fertilizers, and is one of the largest-volume synthetic chemicals produced in the world.
  • More than 80 per cent of ammonia made is consumed in the manufacturing of fertilizer, and most of the remainder goes into the production of formaldehyde.


Prelims Link:

  1. Acceptable maximum limit of ammonia in drinking water?
  2. Permissible level of Sulfate.
  3. Desirable limit of hardness of water.
  4. The desirable level of faecal coliform.
  5. Uses of Ammonia.

Sources: Indian Express.