Anhydrous Ammonia Supply Chain - Executive Summary

Anhydrous Ammonia

Cprect Use Chemical Precursor Chemical


(liquified gas)

Inputs to Manufacturing Process:
Hydrogen	Nitrogen

^ Derivative Water Treatment Chemicals:

Ammonium Hydroxide
Carbon Dioxide

% of Total Domestic Consumption
Attributed to Water Sector:

Less than 2%

Understanding Chemical Supply Chains
Map of Suppliers & Manufacturers

Product Family:
Fossil Fuels

CAS No.: 7664-41-7

H Shelf Life:
24 Months

— RISK OF SUPPLY DISRUPTION (Assessed in 2022)


i nu/


Anhydrous ammonia is the princi-
pal source of nitrogen in fertilizer
and though it is widely manufac-
tured, the majority is intended
for use as fertilizer. The primary
input is natural gas, which may
fluctuate in availability and price.
The production process is highly


Criticality: High. Essential for dis-
infection and production of water
treatment chemicals.

Likelihood: Low. The water sector
has not experienced an
anhydrous ammonia supply dis-
ruption between 2000 and 2022.

Vulnerability: Low. Widely dis-
tributed domestic manufacturing
and supply.


Water Treatment Applications



Anhydrous Ammonia

•	Disinfection

•	Water treatment chemical production

Other Applications


End Use

•	Fertilizer

•	Chemical production

•	Explosives

•	Pharmaceuticals


Domestic Manufacturing Locations (2015):
35, distributed throughout the U.S.

® International Trade (2019)

Primary Trading Partner (Imports):

Trinidad & Tobago

Primary Trading Partner (Exports): Chile, Mexico

Domestic Consumption (2019):
15,182 M kg

¦	Domestic Production (13,500 M kg)

¦	Imports for Consumption (2,020 M kg)

¦	Export of Domestic Production (338 M kg)


Anhydrous Ammonia Supply Chain - Full Profile

Product Description

Anhydrous ammonia (NH3), an inorganic chemical and toxic gas, is widely used in conjunction with chlorine for
secondary disinfection. It is the primary source of nitrogen in fertilizer, commercially produced as a byproduct of
the steam methane reforming process. The majority of anhydrous ammonia manufactured in the U.S. is used in
fertilizer production.

Use in Water Treatment

Anhydrous ammonia is directly used in conjunction with chlorine to produce chloramines for secondary
disinfection (AWWA, 2015).

Use as a Precursor to Other Water Treatment Chemicals

Anhydrous ammonia is used to manufacture ammonium hydroxide and is an important source of carbon dioxide
which is produced as a byproduct in the manufacturing process.

Other Applications

Anhydrous ammonia is used widely and in large quantities for fertilizer production, either applied directly below
the soil surface or as part of a fertilizer formulation. It is also used in the production of chemicals such as nitric
acid, household cleaners, refrigerant gas, paper and fibers, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and explosives (NCBI,
2020; USGS 2021a).

Primary Industrial Consumers

In 2018, approximately 88% of the anhydrous ammonia produced and imported into the U.S. was used as the
primary nitrogen source for fertilizer. Production of nitric acid and polyamides such as nylon are estimated to
each account for approximately 5% of domestic consumption, while the remaining 2% is used for explosives,
pharmaceuticals, and various other chemical products (Boerner, 2019; NCBI, 2020; USGS 2021a).

Manufacturing, Transport, & Storage

Manufacturing Process

Anhydrous ammonia can be produced by reacting hydrogen and nitrogen at elevated temperature and pressure
in the presence of an iron catalyst (EPA, 2020; Kramer, 2004). Approximately 75-80% worldwide commercial
anhydrous ammonia is produced as a by-product in the steam methane reforming process. In the Unites States,
natural gas is the primary source for most commercial plants (Kramer, 2004). The first step in this process
involves removal of sulfur compounds from the natural gas stream. The desulfurized gas stream is then fed into
two reforming steps, where steam (water source) and air (nitrogen source) are reacted with methane (hydrogen
source) in the natural gas feedstock to form hydrogen and nitrogen, and other gases. The process stream is then
compressed and passed over a catalyst where nitrogen and hydrogen react to form anhydrous ammonia, as
presented in Figure 1. The anhydrous ammonia is recovered as a steam, and as the gas is cooled it is stored
under pressure as a liquified gas. Unreacted nitrogen and hydrogen are separated and recycled to further
enhance the quality of the ammonia product prior to storage and shipping.

Nitrogen + Hydrogen Catalyst

Anhydrous Ammonia

N2 + 3H2 ->


Figure 1. Chemical Equation for the Reaction to Manufacture Anhydrous Ammonia

EPA 817-F-22-013 | December 2022


Anhydrous Ammonia Supply Chain - Full Profile

Product Transport

Anhydrous ammonia is very corrosive and causes severe health effects which dictate how it can be transported.
Liquified anhydrous ammonia is sold in bulk quantities and primarily delivered by pipeline or specialized railcars
to suppliers who may repackage and see the product directly to consumers. Transport of anhydrous ammonia
must adhere to the appropriate methods and regulations related to its status as a toxic substance, and transit
routes designated for anhydrous ammonia must go through an approval process. Bulk transport by rail is very
significant. There are limited number of domestic producers, and long-haul shipment of anhydrous ammonia is
often accomplished via rail (Branscomb et al., 2010).

Storage and Shelf Life

Anhydrous ammonia can be pressurized and cooled to a liquified gas and stored in pressure vessels. Small,
pressurized cylinders may be used by smaller water systems, while larger systems may require bulk deliveries.
Pressurized storage vessels should be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight. When stored properly,
anhydrous ammonia can have a shelf life of 24 months, depending on purity and size of storage container (CF,

Domestic Production & Consumption

Domestic Production

Production data was collected from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), while trade data was collected from the
U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) Dataweb, as shown in Table 1. Both production and trade data are
specific to anhydrous ammonia.

Table 1. Anhydrous Ammonia Production and Trade Data Sources

Production and Trade Data


Data Source



Domestic Production

U.S. Geological Survey

CAS No.: 7664-41-7

Anhydrous Ammonia

Imports and Exports

U.S. International Trade Commission

HS Code: 2814.10

Anhydrous Ammonia

Total U.S. domestic production of anhydrous ammonia was approximately 13,500 million kilograms (M kg) in
2019 (USGS, 2021b). Domestic commercial manufacture of anhydrous ammonia takes place in 17 states
throughout the country. This is largely based on proximity to large reserves of natural gas. The largest domestic
producer of anhydrous ammonia by quantity is CF Industries, with 5 production facilities in Louisiana, Oklahoma,
Mississippi, and Iowa (USGS 2021a). The number of domestic manufacturing locations shown in Figure 2
represents operating facilities as of 2015. Supply of NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified anhydrous ammonia for use
in drinking water treatment is distributed throughout the U.S. (NSF International, 2021). For a more current
listing of manufacturing locations and supplier locations, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's)
Chemical Locator Tool (EPA. 2022a).



Anhydrous Ammonia Supply Chain - Full Profile

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Domestic Supply and Manufacturing of Anhydrous Ammonia
O 36 NSF/ANSI Standard 60 Certified Suppliers (NSF International, 2021)
9 35 Domestic Manufacturing Locations (EPA Chemical Data Reporting, 2016)

Figure 2. Domestic Supply and Manufacturing of Anhydrous Ammonia
Domestic Consumption

U.S. consumption of anhydrous ammonia in 2019 is estimated at 15,182 M kg. This estimate includes production
of 13,500 M kg, import of 2,020 M kg, minus export of 338 M kg (USGS, 2021b), as shown in Figure 3.

Domestic Consumption (2019):

15,182 M kg

(13,500 M kg)

¦ Imports for Consumption (2,020 M kg)

U Export of Domestic Production (338 M kg)

Figure 3. Domestic Production and Consumption of Anhydrous Ammonia in 2019

Trade & Tariffs

Worldwide Trade

Worldwide import and export data for anhydrous ammonia are reported through the World Bank's World
Integrated Trade Solutions (WITS) software, as a category specific to anhydrous ammonia. In 2021, the U.S.



Anhydrous Ammonia Supply Chain - Full Profile

ranked first worldwide in total imports of anhydrous ammonia. In 2021, the Russian Federation ranked first
worldwide in total exports while the U.S. ranked 11th (WITS, 2022), as shown in Table 2.

Table 2. WITS Worldwide Export and Import of Anhydrous Ammonia in 2021

2021 Worldwide Trade
Anhydrous Ammonia (HS Code 2814.10)

Top 5 Worldwide Exporters

Top 5 Worldwide Importers

Russian Federation

4,400 M kg

United States

2,500 M kg

Trinidad and Tobago

3,200 M kg


2,400 M kg

Saudi Arabia

2,900 M kg


1,700 M kg


1,800 M kg


1,000 M kg


1,200 M kg


839 M kg

Domestic Imports and Exports

Domestic imports and export data are reported by USITC in categories specific to anhydrous ammonia. Figure 4
summarizes imports for consumption1 and domestic exports2 of anhydrous ammonia between 2015 and 2020.
During this period, the overall quantity of exports remained relatively steady, and the overall quantity of imports
gradually decreased, with imports for consumption exceeding domestic exports. Over this five-year period, Chile
and Mexico were the primary recipient of domestic exports while Trinidad and Tobago was the primary source
of imports (USITC, 2021).



— 4000


= 3000

Domestic Trade of Anhydrous Ammonia
HS Code 2814.10

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¦ Imports from Trinidad & Tobago

¦ Exports to Chile

¦ Imports from Canada

¦ Exports to Mexico

¦ Imports from Other Countries

Exports to Other Countries

Figure 4. USITC Domestic Import and Export of Anhydrous Ammonia between 2015 and 2020

1	Imports for consumption are a subset of general imports, representing the total amount cleared through customs and entering
consumption channels, not anticipated to be reshipped to foreign points, but may include some reexports.

2	Domestic exports are a subset of total exports, representing export of domestic merchandise which are produced or manufactured in
the U.S. and commodities of foreign origin which have been changed in the U.S.



Anhydrous Ammonia Supply Chain - Full Profile


There is no general duty for import of anhydrous ammonia, however there is an additional 25% duty on imports
from China (WITS, 2022), as summarized in Table 3.

Table 3. 2022 Domestic Tariff Schedule for Anhydrous Ammonia

HS Code

General Duty

Additional Duty - China
(Section 301 Tariff List)

Special Duty





Market History & Risk Assessment

History of Shortages

Anhydrous ammonia is the primary source of nitrogen in fertilizer, and use in fertilizer dominates domestic
consumption. Additionally, the process to manufacture anhydrous ammonia, primarily from natural gas, is
energy intensive (Boerner, 2019). Regardless of potential risks, no notable shortages of anhydrous ammonia
were identified between 2000 and 2022.

Risk Evaluation

The complete risk evaluation methodology is described in Understanding Water Treatment Chemical Supply
Chains and the Risk of Disruptions (EPA, 2022b). The risk rating is calculated as the product of the following three
risk parameters:

Risk = Criticality x Likelihood x Vulnerability
Criticality	Measure of the importance of a chemical to the water sector

Likelihood Measure of the probability that the chemical will experience a supply disruption in the
future, which is estimated based on past occurrence of supply disruptions

Vulnerability Measure of the market dynamics that make a chemical market more or less resilient to
supply disruptions

The individual parameter rating is based on evaluation of one or more attributes of the chemical or its supply
chain. The ratings and drivers for these three risk parameters are shown below in Table 4.



Anhydrous Ammonia Supply Chain - Full Profile

Table 4. Supply Chain Risk Evaluation for Anhydrous Ammonia

Risk Parameter Ratings and Drivers


1 Criticality High 1

1 Likelihood Low 1

Vulnerability Low 1

Anhydrous ammonia is essential and
has widespread application in drinking
water treatment for secondary

The water sector has not experienced
anhydrous ammonia supply chain
disruptions between 2000 and 2022.

Though the majority of anhydrous
ammonia is intended for use in
fertilizer manufacturing, strong
domestic manufacturing capabilities
and a distributed manufacturing base
provide some resilience to supply

Risk Rating: Low

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ve-Low Modern


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American Waterworks Association (AWWA), 2015. B305 Anhydrous Ammonia. Denver, CO: American Water
Works Association.

Branscomb, L., Fagan, M., Auerswald, P.E., Ellis, R. and Barcham, R., 2010. Rail Transportation of Toxic

Inhalation Flazards: Policy Responses to the Safety and Security Externality. Flarvard Kennedy School of
Government, retrieved from UTC20 working paper

Boerner, L.K., 2019. Industrial ammonia production emits more C02 than any other chemical-making
reaction. Chemists want to change that. Chemical & Engineering News, June 15, 2019, retrieved from

CF Industries (CF), 2016. Safety Data Sheet for Anhydrous Ammonia, June 10, 2016, retrieved from
sheets/ammonia—north-america/anhvdrous ammonia sds na v3.pdf

EPA, 2020. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, 1990-2018, retrieved from

EPA, 2022a. Chemical Suppliers and Manufacturers Locator Tool, retrieved from

EPA, 2022b. Understanding Water Treatment Chemical Supply Chains and the Risk of Disruptions, retrieved

Kramer. D.A., 2004. Mineral Commodity Profiles, Nitrogen, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological
Survey, Open File Report 2004-1290, retrieved from



Anhydrous Ammonia Supply Chain - Full Profile


National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 2020. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 222,
Ammonia, retrieved from

NSF International, 2021. Search for NSF Certified Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals, retrieved from

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2021a. 2018 Minerals Yearbook, retrieved from

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2021b. Mineral Commodities Summary: Nitrogen (Fixed) - Ammonia,
retrieved from

U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), 2021. USITC DataWeb, retrieved from

U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), 2022. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Search, retrieved from

World Integrated Trade Solutions (WITS), 2022. Trade Statistics by Product (HS 6-digit), retrieved from