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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Foster, Russell J.
Nitrogen,   pp. 643-653 ff. PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 644

regulations can be fully evaluated.~ 
 Effective in November 1978, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
established final standards limiting worker exposure to acrylonitrile at
2 parts per million averaged over 8 hours.~ 
 Production of ammonia in the United States declined to 14.2 million tons
of nitrogen content in 1978. Industry overcapacity and an influx of low-priced
imports from countries with plentiful supplies of inexpensive feedstock exerted
downward pressure on prices. Coupled with rising costs, especially for natural
gas, these factors caused several domestic ammonia plants to shut down or
reduce output. Stronger am- 
monia demand in 1979 spurred production to an alitime high of 14.9 million
tons of contained nitrogen. 
 Construction of new ammonia plants for American Cyanamid Co., at Fortier,
La., Columbia Nitrogen Corp., at Augusta, Ga., and Georgia Pacific Corp.,
at Plaquemine, La., was completed during 1978-79, after substantial new capacity
was added in 1977. 
Table 2.—Fixed nitrogen production in the United States 
 Sources:Bureau of the Census and International TradeCommission. 644 MINERALS
YEARBOOK 1978 79 
sulfate representing the degree of effluent reduction attainable by the application
of the. best conventional pollutant control techno1ogy.~ EPA withdrew regulations
which established pH parameters for urea and ammonium nitrate plants until
the industry petition for reconsideration of the 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
(Thousand short tons of contained nitrogen) 
1975 
 1976 1977 1978 l979~ 
Anhydrous ammonia, synthetic plants' r13496 r13741 14,602 14,129 14,826 
Ammonium compounds, coking plants: 
  Ammenialiquor 5 4 7 7 6 
  Ammoniumsulfate 108 111 103 96 100 
  Ammoniumphosphates (2) (2) (2) (2) (2) 
 Total r13609 r13856 14,712 14,232 14,932 
°Preliminary. rRevised. 
' Current Industrial Reports, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the
Census. 2lncluded with ammonium sulfate to avoid disclosing company proprietary
data. 
Table 3.—Major nitrogen compounds 
produced in the United States 
(Thousand short tons, gross weight) 
Compound 
1977 
1978 
l979~ 
Acrylonitrile         
821 
876 
1,009 
Ammonium nitrate — — — Ammonium sulfate' —
—
7,177 
2,748 
7,210 
2,900 
7,796 e2400 
Ammonium phosphates Nitric acid          
10,211 
7,987 
11,517 
7,934 
12,082 
8,559 
Urea              
4,446 
6,506 
6,749 
eEstimath. °Preliminary. 
' Includes ammonium sulfate from coking plants. 


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