Calcium oxide is a water-reactive, corrosive, irritating, nonflammable, odorless, white or grayish-white lump or powder. It is used in the manufacture of bricks, cement, glass, mortar, paper, plaster, poultry feed, pulp, stucco, and chemicals such as alkalis, bleaches, drilling fluids, fungicides, insecticides, and lubricants.
Ammonia, often referred to as anhydrous ammonia, is a colorless gas with a bitter taste and a sharp, intensely irritating, characteristic odor. It is one of the highest-volume chemicals produced in the United States and is found in industry, agriculture, and all modes of transportation.
Sodium nitrate is an oxidizing, relatively stable, white-to-colorless, odorless, ionic crystalline solid of moderate toxicity with a salt-like, slightly bitter taste. It is a very popular and common chemical used in the manufacture of explosives (such as dynamite and black powder), fertilizers, food additives, glass, matches, meat preservatives, pharmaceuticals, pottery enamel, pyrotechnics, refrigerants, and other nitrates of sodium salts.
Usually a white solid that is very soluble in water, ammonium nitrate is principally used as a fertilizer—but, once involved in an incident, can present many serious hazards. PROPERTIES/APPEARANCE There are many grades of ammonium nitrate and, depending on the additives that may be present, the color can vary from off-white to brown.
EXPLOSION of a semi-trailer van containing 13 tons of nitro earbo nitrate (ammonium nitrate blasting agent), 2 tons of 60-percent gelatin dynamite and 99 blasting caps near Bushkill, Pa., during the early morning hours of June 20 resulted in death of six persons, injured 13 others and destroyed three pumpers of the Marshalls Creek Volunteer Fire Department.