CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Ammonium nitrate burning. An explosion of flames leaps out of a dish containing burning ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3). Ammonium nitrate is used in the manufacture of explosives and fertilisers. It was first used as an explosive by Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize, who used it in his dynamite mixtures in 1875. Its true destructive power was not realised until the tragic Texas City disaster of 1947, when a ship full of the compound blew up in harbour.
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