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There are some large tanks of ammonia in nearby iron works.

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I wonder, what do they need it for? What is the application of ammonia in steel industry - what processes of making or processing steel require this much ammonia?

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  • $\begingroup$ Ammonia is used for production of Nitrogen and Hydrogen using Ammonia Cracking. $\endgroup$ – Devashish Das Aug 7 '14 at 13:30
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Likely, for nitriding http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitriding . Essentially, ammonia is used as nitrogen donor. Nitrogen atoms diffuse into steel, producing hardened, corrosion-resistant surface layer.

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  • $\begingroup$ Indeed - N2 will not nitride steel in a thermal process. NH3 breaks up much more easily, so that is used. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Aug 7 '14 at 13:33

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