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Safer fertilizer to thwart bombers

September 24, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Honeywell International Inc. said it had developed a new nitrogen-based fertilizer that was difficult to ignite -- a discovery that could reduce criminals' ability to make explosives used in major terrorist attacks like the Oklahoma City bombing.

Honeywell said its patented fertilizer combined ammonium sulfate with ammonium nitrate, providing the nitrogen and sulfur needed for plant nutrition but making it largely useless as a fuel for explosives. When mixed with substances such as fuel oil -- a volatile combination often used to make bombs -- the new fertilizer wouldn't detonate, the company said.

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