Being in the arts and science department amuses me every day.
Elena Sheldon, Director of research, Diploma in Arts and Science, Berkeley, California
Answered Jul 13, 2020
Although, differentiating between ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate just by how they look can be very confusing; however, one of the ways to clearly differentiate between the two is by looking at how both are formed. Ammonium nitrate is formed by a mixture of ammonia and nitric acid. This is usually a violent reaction, and proper care must be taken to avoid certain laboratory hazards. The overall processes of this reaction leave fine white pellets as the product.
On the other hand, ammonium sulfate is formed by a mixture of ammonia and sulphuric acid. Another important fact about ammonium sulfate is that it also exists naturally. Although both are very similar when it comes to what they are used for. They are used in fertilizers, but ammonium sulfate is used mostly for alkaline soils so as to decrease the pH balance of the soil, while ammonium nitrate is used for acidic soils.