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The fertiliser that blew up Beirut

A little-known chemical that changed the world.

Following the Beirut explosion, we’re exploring the chemical that caused the blast - ammonium nitrate. It’s something many of us will have come across before, it’s in some of our antibiotics and used to feed yeast but it’s most commonly sold as a fertiliser. Graihagh Jackson examines how this substance has changed the world - feeding millions on the one hand, and fuelling warfare, pollution and biodiversity loss on the other.

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(Picture: Ammonium nitrate on petri dish. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

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30 minutes

Last on

Mon 14 Sep 2020 00:32GMT


  • Thu 10 Sep 2020 10:32GMT
  • Thu 10 Sep 2020 15:32GMT
  • Thu 10 Sep 2020 21:32GMT
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  • Sun 13 Sep 2020 07:32GMT
  • Mon 14 Sep 2020 00:32GMT

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