Ammonium nitrate (AN) is one of the main nitrogen fertilizers used in fertilization programs. However, AN has some serious
disadvantages — being well soluble in water hardly 50% of the N-species contained are assimilated by plants. The second disadvantage
of AN is associated with its explosive properties. The aim of this paper was to clarify the influence of different lime-containing
substances — mainly Estonian limestone and dolomite — as internal additives on thermal behaviour of AN.
Commercial fertilizer grade AN was under investigation. The amount of additives used was 5, 10 or 20 mass%, or calculated
on the mole ratio of AN/(CaO, MgO)=2:1 in the blends. Experiments were carried out under dynamic heating condition up to 900°C
(10°C min−1) in a stream of dry air or N2 by using Setaram Labsys 2000 equipment coupled to Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR).
The results of analyses of the gaseous compounds evolved at thermal treatment of neat AN indicated some differences in the
decomposition of AN in air or in N2. At the thermal treatment of AN’s blends with CaCO3, MgCO3, limestone and dolomite samples the decomposition of AN proceeds through a completely different mechanism — depending on
the origin and the content of additives, partially or completely, through the formation of Mg(NO3)2 and Ca(NO3)2.