Our rail addresses are

NS – B35, Hopewell
Ofce: 804 458-9844
Fax: 804 458-9858
411 E. Randolph Road
Hopewell, Virginia 23860
P.O. Box 479
Hopewell, Virginia 23860
One of the lesser known, but an increasingly vital chemical used in industrial processes is Ammonium Sulfate. Ammonium sulfate has
important roles in the production of leather, insulation and agricultural processes including ph control. Beyond the aforementioned uses,
ammonium sulfate is also used in commercial production processes in laboratories and as a food additive. The versatility, as well as easy
packaging and transport, help make ammonium sulfate a valuable commodity.
Ammonium Sulfate cuts costs in the Leather Industry
Ammonium sulfate is an inorganic mineral salt, with the chemical designation of
(NH4)2SO4, that is created as a byproduct of other chemical production processes.
This mineral salt appears as a white or clear crystallized solid,
comprising approximately 21 percent nitrogen and 24 percent sulfur. It has a nominal
ph of 5 or 6 and is easily packaged and transported. It is soluble in water and
therefore must be stored dry.
For non agricultural uses, the primary use of ammonium sulfate is in the leather
industry. Combined with water, it is used as a rinse or bath for the deliming stage of
the tanning process. Apptly suited for this purpose as the ions of iron and calcium are exchanged on a one to one basis. This facilitates a
faster process than other deliming agents or processes. Without the use of ammonium sulfate as a deliming agent, the process would
require significantly more time and therefore increase subsequent costs.
Ammonium Sulfate and Cellulose Insulation
It is also used as an additive along with boric acid to cellulose insulation. By its addition to the insulation, the fire retardant nature of the
insulation is subsequently increased. This is due to the fact that ammonium sulfate reduces any release of oxygen from the cellulose
material and thereby prohibiting fire growth. It also enhances the insect repellent aspects of the boric acid. This further increases the anti
pest properties of the insulating material and additives.
For agricultural uses, ammonium sulfate is in many cases a better alternative than ammonium nitrate. In the case of soil enhancement via
ph balance, ammonium sulfate helps stabilize alkaline soils and soils that are prone to denitrification. The differential aspects of ammonium
sulfate as opposed to ammonium nitrate occur based on the nitrogen process in the soil. Meaning that during the nitrification process, all
percentages of nitrogen is used from the ammonium sulfate, while only half is used in the case of ammonium nitrate. Since the process
also produces a more alkaline soil, due to microbe interaction, the introduction of ammonium sulfate not only enhances plant growth but
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will stabilize soil as the process moves along. Thereby reducing the need for more
chemical fertilization. This has the advantage of not only reducing costs but also
reducing any loss due to run off or drainage concerns.
Ammonium Sulfate in Agricultural PH Control
Ammonium sulfate uses are not limited to the leather tanning deliming process, an
additive to cellulose insulation or agricultural ph control. There are applications in the
food industry and as an adjuvant in pharmaceutical vaccines. It is also used as an
adjuvant to various pesticides and fungicides as well as some herbicides.

Ammonium sulfate is safe and easy to use for any of the above listed processes or
applications. It is easily packaged and transported but care should be taken as with any chemical to manage safe portability and
transportation. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the packaging and transport be handled by experienced and qualified individuals
and companies that have expertise in storing, packaging and transporting ammonium sulfate. Primarily, this is due to the fact that this
chemical is highly soluble in water and should have care taken to avoid exposure to moisture during storage and transportation.

Image Credit
Commonwealth Industrial Services, Inc. (CIS) is an industrial services company located in Hopewell, Virginia. Although
historically a service business, CIS’ primary profit center is the packaging and resale of ammonium sulfate.
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