Calcium Ammonium Nitrate – a Widely used Inorganic Fertilizer

Calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) is a widely available fertilizer composed of ammonium nitrate mixed with some form of calcium carbonates such as limestone or dolomite. It is also known as nitro-limestone or nitrochalk, which is a widely used inorganic fertilizer, accounting for 4% of all nitrogen fertilizer used worldwide in 2007. A mixture obtained by combining ammonium nitrate, calcium nitrate, and water. It is widely used as a nitrogen fertilizer in agriculture. It is a globally accepted non-hazardous product. It is an example of nitrogenous fertilizer.


The term “calcium ammonium nitrate” is applied to multiple different, but closely related formulations. It is created by adding powdered limestone or calcium nitrate to ammonium nitrate. One variety of calcium ammonium nitrate is made by adding powdered limestone to ammonium nitrate; another, fully water-soluble version, is a mixture of calcium nitrate and ammonium nitrate, which crystallizes as a hydrated double salt: 5Ca(NO3)2•NH4NO3•10H2O.

CAN is contained 27 % N and 20 % of ground limestone. Nitrogen is half in the nitrate form and half in the ammoniacal form. Unlike ammonium nitrate, these calcium-containing formulations are not classified as oxidizers by the United States Department of Transportation.

Calcium ammonium nitrate has a form of 2 – 5 mm large of whitish till light brown color granules. The fertilizer has excellent physico-mechanical properties and properties for storage.

Physical and chemical properties

Calcium ammonium nitrate is hygroscopic. Its dissolution in water is endothermic, leading to its use in some instant cold packs. It is expressly designed as a safe form of nitrogen fertilizer with characteristics that make it incapable of an accidental explosion in a fire scenario when following normal good handling procedures. CAN is a globally recognized safe nitrogen fertilizer created specifically for the purpose of preventing accidental detonation.


  • Most calcium ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer. It is a fertilizer is any substance that is added to soil or water to assist the growth of plants. Fertilizer grade CAN contain roughly 8% calcium and 21-27% nitrogen.
  • CAN is preferred for use on acid soils, as it acidifies soil less than many common nitrogen fertilizers. It is also used in place of ammonium nitrate where ammonium nitrate is banned.
  • It is the main component of ANFO, a very popular explosive. It is used in instant cold packs, as hydrating the salt is an endothermic process.
  • Calcium ammonium nitrate is used in some instant cold packs as an alternative to ammonium nitrate.

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