Liquid fertilizer solutions or fluid fertilizers are popular in many areas because they are safe to handle, convenient to mix with other nutrients and chemicals, and are easily applied. A solution of urea [CO(NH2)2] and ammonium nitrate [NH4NO3] containing between 28 and 32% N is the most popular N fluid fertilizer.
Urea - Ammonium Nitrate 32% w/w
Liquid urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer is relatively simple to produce. A heated solution containing dissolved urea is mixed with a heated solution of ammonium nitrate to make a clear liquid fertilizer. Half of the total N comes from the urea solution and half from the ammonium nitrate solution. UAN is made in batches in some facilities or in a continual process in others. No emissions or waste products occur during mixing.
Since UAN is a concentrated N solution, its solubility increases as the temperature rises. To prevent the N components from precipitating as crystals, UAN solutions are made more dilute in regions with cold winter temperatures. Therefore, the N concentration in commercial UAN fertilizers will vary from 28% N to 32% N depending on geography. A corrosion inhibitor is usually added to the final solution to protect the steel in storage tanks.