Ammonium nitrate is available in a wide range of products and uses. It forms a white or clear crystalline salt at room temperature. It dissolves readily in water to form a liquid mixture. Perhaps the most common use of ammonium nitrate is in fertilizers as a way to add nitrogen to the soil so plants can get extra nutrients.
Chemical processes can turn ammonium nitrate into fuel oil used in mining and blasting applications. Another product of ammonium nitrate is called nitrate of ammonia, which is a substance that readily explodes when heated.
Ammonium nitrate can explode when exposed to heat above 200 degrees Celsius (410 degrees Fahrenheit) or when toxic chemicals are added to it. The toxic chemicals break down ammonium nitrate into its components, yielding poisonous nitrate fumes. Ordinary ammonium nitrate that remains stable without any burning doesn’t give off any toxic fumes whatsoever.