Wilfley Centrifugal Pumps Pump Ammonium Nitrate Safety

Over 70 years of safety and reliability in ammonium nitrate production

Safety is the #1 priority in ammonium nitrate production and substantial expertise and care is needed when selecting and applying pumps. A misapplied or misused pump can be a catalyst for a very hazardous situation with serious and potentially grave consequences.

Heat Build-up is a Primary Concern

Ammonium nitrate starts to decompose at 425°F (218°C) which makes it very volatile and combustible. Detonation can occur if the fluid within the pump exceeds this temperature for a long enough period. All centrifugal pumps can quickly raise fluid temperature at low flow conditions. See this blog article for more details.

Wilfley dynamically sealed pumps have been designed to minimize unnecessary heat build-up in the seal area to prevent this from happening. Traditional sealing systems, such as compression packing and mechanical seals generate heat in concentrated areas which are not conducive to safe ammonium nitrate handling.

In addition, Wilfley sealing technology doesn’t require the complicated API-style seal flush systems that are associated with friction-based seals. This in turn significantly reduces the amount of extraneous equipment that could potentially fail and cause rapid heat build-up.

Wilfley Centrifugal Pumps Pump Prevent Heat Generation Build-Up Ammonium Nitrate

Pumps provided by Wilfley can also safely accommodate redundant thermal sensors in key areas of the pump to help monitor the actual fluid temperature for increased levels of intrinsic safety. Optional steam jacketing is available for the case and seal housing to help regulate the fluid temperature.

Wilfley Centrifugal Pumps Pump Ammonium Nitrate Temperature Monitoring Regulating

Extensive testing was carried out to locate the optimum placement of thermal sensors to provide the most accurate real-time data possible, with negligible impact on flow, pressure or efficiency.

Proper Material Selection is Crucial

Ammonium nitrate can react with certain elements, such as copper, to form compounds which are known to act as a catalyst and enhance the decomposition of ammonium nitrate and increase the chances of a significant thermal event. As an added level of safety, Wilfley uses only copper-less stainless steel alloys (typically 304L) in the wetted components of ammonium nitrate pumps. Alloy bearing frames, brackets and shafting are also available for the power end.

Wilfley also ensures that all of the o-rings and gaskets are fully compatible with ammonium nitrate.

Unique Dynamic Sealing Technology Eliminates Product Dilution

Modern chemical production is a continuous and complex set of processes that rely on efficient and proven equipment and systems. Success and profit result from beneficial, productive progression towards the end product; dilutive streams are counter-productive and undesirable.

The unique and proven Wilfley Sealing Technology eliminates the continuous flush systems using water (or other diluent) that are needed for conventional sealing systems like mechanical seals and compression packing. Our flush-free system keeps the pumped fluid pure, and eliminates the need for subsequent, expensive and energy intensive evaporative processes downstream. Use the calculator below to see how much flush water you are currently using and the additional cost needed to remove it from the finished product.

Water Usage Calculator

Flush Flow Rate:
% Amount Entering Process: %
Hours Per Day:  
Days Per Year:  
# Quantity of Pumps:  
Cost per kWh: US Dollars
Annual Water Consumption:
Energy Cost to Remove Water:
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Mark ScottAmmonium Nitrate | Pumps