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Fertilizer tank Gift Horse

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  • Fertilizer tank Gift Horse

    I was given a 14'-6" diameter by 15' aluminum fertilizer tank. The local farm supply is becoming less farm and more suburb so they dropped custom chemical application and fertilizer for Weber grills and go carts (utv). I just had to get it home. So I did some math and figure it weighed 6000# and made a homemade lowboy out of a wagon axle and 4" square. I ran it down the state road at daybreak with the Deere and only had to poke one cable wire over the front edge. State trooper just waved on his way to coffee and the country cops never got off the phone to look much less wave.

    Unlike the farm supply I am not going to build a massive concrete containment vessel to park this thing in and I will not fill more than a semi load of 28% (6' deep?) For a short time.

    Inspecting the bottom of the tank I found a stain around an intrusion in a weld seam. I do not have a man hole to get inside. I have an old Hobart square wave tig and I might be able to reach the spot from underneath but have not welded overhead tig on Aluminum. Try it? Tear the top off and inspect inside and spool gun what I find would be the right way but also easy to get killed without the lifting capacity.

    1/4 aluminum overhead Tig or get more into it and call for a spool gun or spend for new aluminum welding capacity?

  • #2
    Can you roll the tank so the offending seam is on the top? You are aware that some liquid fertilizer will burn/explode under the right conditions, right?---Meltedmetal


    • #3
      Fertilizer can be highly explosive! I don't know anything about what was in it but I wouldn't weld on it or in it until I was 100% sure it wouldn't blow up.
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      30a spoolgun w/wc-24
      Syncrowave 250


      • #4
        Does it leak, or is it just stained?


        • #5
          Liquid is corrosive as can be, but not explosive. A paper cut and a few drops are too cruel for the prisoners at GitMo. Google 30% uan or Nitan. 10-34-0 will eat Aluminum so if there was some in a truck or railcar I should really go over the condition of the tank. Picture to follow soon.


          • #6
            From the uan 30 MSDS :PRODUCTS OF
            FLASH POINT
            Not applicable.
            Material will not burn, but thermal decomposition may result in flammable/toxic gases being
            formed after material evaporates to dryness. These products are nitrogen oxides and
            ammonia (NO, NO2, NH3).
            FIRE HAZARD IN THE
            If evaporated to dryness, acts as an oxidizing agent, supports combustion by liberating oxygen
            even if smothered. Cool containing vessels with flooding quantities of water until well after fire
            is out. A self contained breathing apparatus should be used to avoid inhalation of toxic fumes.
            When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes (NH 3, N0, N02). Fire fighters should wear
            self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and full turnout gear.
            Dangerous if evaporated to near dryness. Dry residue may form explosive mixtures with
            organic materials. Avoid temperatures above 100°C (212°F) which may result in evaporation,
            thermal decomposition or explosion.
            Residue may be dangerous in contact with flammable organic materials. Evolves toxic fumes
            when heated to the decomposition state. Avoid temperatures above 100°C (212°F). On
            evaporation to dryness thermal decomposition or explosion may result.
            Incompatible with strong reducing agents, or other oxidizers. Possible incompatibility with
            finely powdered metals (cadmium, copper, lead, cobalt, nickel, bismuth, chromium,
            magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium and aluminum). May explode by detonation, heat or
            shock when evaporated to near dryness. Solution may detonate if subjected to heat and
            FIRE HAZARDS
            Unconfirmed industry reports indicate a possibility that ammonium nitrate containing solutions
            may detonate if subjected to extreme heat while under pressure or if allowed to evaporate to
            near dryness.

            Please consider the information above and take the appropriate measures. Stay safe. Google "uan 30 MSDS"---Meltedmetal
            Last edited by Meltedmetal; 09-20-2013, 10:46 AM.


            • #7
              Fertilizer tank Gift Horse

              For one unless it is a pressure tank ( which being aluminum its not) anhydrous ammonia (NH3) will not be present. 2 ammonium nitrate is next to impossible to get in the states… to have it in bulk on premise it must be under guard 24/7, and it is also a SOLID, DRY, fertilizer, and only an oxidizer, will not explode from heat, 3 Finley powdered meters would not be present in such a big tank because they would settle out to fast.


              • #8
                Fertilizer tank Gift Horse

                A good portion of 28-0-0 or 32-0-0 uan is ammonium nitrate in solution as well as urea


                • #9
                  Are you saying that it is safe to weld on this tank? The material I posted is copied from the MSDS for uan 30. My reading of that information is not that the liquid is anhydrous ammonia but that anhydrous ammonia can be a thermal decomposition product. Also in liquid form the material is not a fire/explosion hazard but when it is heated enough to dry it becomes one. It seems to me that this heating is likely to occur in the area surrounding the weld. How dangerous is this condition? I don't know. I am not a chemist but there is enough information in the MSDS for this product to make me seriously question whether I would weld on this tank without major precautions or look for another solution.---Meltedmetal


                  • #10
                    Fertilizer tank Gift Horse

                    What I am saying is for there to be liquid anhydrous ammonia It must be under pressure . Highly unlikely something containing anhydrous ammonia was in this tank. Also when anhydrous ammonia is released from pressure it changes to gas instantly, I know this from being a farm boy. My dad sells the stuff to. Unless I knew for sure what was in it I probably wouldn't weld it.


                    • #11
                      Fertilizer tank Gift Horse

                      Also the product contained in the tank has not been specified, could be anything


                      • #12
                        couldn't hurt to rinse it out.


                        • #13
                          I'm a farm boy, I was welding on liquid fertilizer tanks long before the state of California decided it was hazardous to my health.

                          Funny thing, I'm still alive.
                          Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....