Uses of Ammonia and Compound as Fertilizers in Agriculture – Pros and Cons

Fertilizer is common in agricultural industry. The soil in the earth is no longer able to sustain plants and other agricultural products on its own. Therefore, to sustain the quality of agricultural products have long use fertilizer to ensure the plants and crops grow well.

The production of fertilizer as list of importance of organic chemistry in industry  previously rely on natural products only. When technology advances, there are synthetically chemicals as well to give enough nutrition as fertilizer.

Among the most common fertilizer is ammonia. Ammonia is organic compound that has major role in fertiliser.

What is Ammonia?

Ammonia is nitrogen and hydrogen compound belongs to organic chemical. It has symbol NH3 in periodic table. The one responsible for producing ammonia is mainly water species who produce nitrogenous waste. Naturally ammonia has strong pungent smile and colorless. Originally a gas, ammonia is now also available in liquid form. Its main use is as fertilizer in agricultural industry.

What is Fertilizer?

Fertilizer is part of agricultural need to enhance the soil nutrients and increase the plants productivity. It has been a major role in agricultural industry due to the decrease of fertile soil. Nowadays, natural fertile soil is hard to find, especially in a place with advanced improvement in building foundation. Thus, farmers now most likely use fertiliser, except for rare organic products.

These are uses of ammonia and compound as fertilizers in agriculture.

  1. Enable Nitrogen

Nitrogen is one of the chemicals needed in photosynthesis and growth of plants and crops. However, uses of nitrogen in soil needs to mediate with water and other compounds for the plant to be able to absorb it. This is where ammonia has important role.

Ammonia helps to mediate between nitrogen, water and other compounds. That is why often in fertilizer composition, they mix ammonia with nitrogen. For this very reason, many fertilizer uses ammonia. Moreover, ammonia is organic compound and something nature can produce so it is less synthetic.

  1. Increase Essential Nutrients

Aside from having rich nitrogen in it, ammonia also helps the soil to build up other compound and minerals that assist the fertilization of the soil in application of biochemistry process. It is because as the soil goes fertile, certain chemicals tend to build up and it further makes the soil even better for planting crops and fruits.

Several minerals that can occur within the soil when ammonia and nitrogen are spread evenly in soil are zinc, boron, and selenium. Those minerals will further help the plants to grow and develop healthily instead of using instant synthetic chemical to make them grow faster. Therefore, it proves another use of ammonia as fertilizer in plants.

  1. Manage Plant to Grow Normally

Ammonia as fertilizer does not advance the growth of the plants, crops, or lawns. It only helps to supply nutrients and let the plants grow with fertile soil.

This compound does not have much effect on the nutrient of the plant or crop itself. Research found plants that injected with chemical to grow faster tend to lose its nutrients and may cause effects of agrochemicals on human health. There maybe other side effects of ammonia too but it is not as severe as other toxic chemicals.  

  1. To Keep Soil Fertile

It is not always economical when it comes to making the fertile soil. While majority of its use centered around industry, ammonia as fertilizer can also help to regenerate the soil to be productive again. Soil left from fire or illegal logging tend to be difficult to regenerate because they lose all the nutrients. The same with flood case, nutrients get swept away and cause infertile soil.

With the help of ammonia and other compounds, soil can regain its nutrients. Even though the soil may not be as fertile as its original form, at least it will help for plantation to slowly grow. Hence, it is also one of ammonia uses as fertilizer.

  1. Biggest Nitrogen Supply

Ammonia is the earliest in fertilizer industry but it is not the last. There are also other compounds that are beneficial as fertilizer. However, due to ammonia being the biggest nitrogen supply for soil, its production may double in the future. Among 200 acres of crops use ammonia as its fertilizer.

Moreover, over supply of nitrogen in air turn out can also benefits farmer of water plants. Water plants need nitrogen, arguably, more than soil plants. Thus, ammonia can supply the lackof nitrogen in water to grow water plants 

Ammonia Use as Fertiliser

Farmers who utilise ammonia grow each day. Record of ammonia use in agriculture reaches 83 percent of total 2 percent production. Aside from that, ammonia production also spread to other industry such as household and chemical industry.

Ammonia mainly acts as fertiliser because there is no other chemical that can compete with the nitrogen ammonia has. There may be debate whether ammonia is completely safe or not and also included in harmful effects of using chemical fertilisers. However, the use of ammonia continue to grow as fertile of soil continue to decrease.

Possible Hazard of Ammonia

Despite industry using ammonia largely, United States lists ammonia as extremely hazardous chemicals in United States by EPA. The reason of this label is because concentrated form of ammonia is very toxic and exposes several hazards.

Some hazards that ammonia can possibly cause are eyes and skin irritation, lung problem, cell damage and other internal organ damage. Its pungent smell is also too strong for the nose and farmer needs to wear mask not to get intoxicated by the smell. Because concentrated form of it is very corrosive, it is also among effects agricultural chemicals on water quality


Indeed, that’s all the uses of ammonia and compound as fertilizers in agriculture. Ammonia is like a double-edged sword. It is heavily useful and many industries need it. Moreover, its production is also abundant since many organisms (especially aquatic organism) produce it.

However, there is always a downside in every chemicals. Future use of ammonia may increase, but so does the need of proper management. This will be useful in case irresponsible use of ammonia cause global hazard that affects population and environment.

That is all about the use of ammonia as fertiliser in agricultural industry.