Ammonium nitrate: What is ammonium nitrate? How explosive is it?
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Beirut officials have identified ammonium nitrate as the base component of Tuesday's explosion. Nearly 6,000 tonnes of the chemical ignited and burst through a port in the Lebanese capital, levelling part of the city. Ammonium nitrate is no stranger to disasters, having caused more than one of them in the past.
Speculations around the cause of yesterday's violent explosion quickly rattled around the internet, amongst them attacks from a foreign entity and an ignited Hezbollah weapons storage depot.
But the reason it took some time for authorities to settle on ammonium nitrate is because it is not a naturally occurring chemical.
Traditionally, the white crystalline substance finds a use in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertiliser.
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More on: www.express.co.uk