How Anhydrous Ammonia is Used to Make Meth

First off, anhydrous ammonia is not always used to make meth, however it can be used in making what most users consider to be a purists form of meth. Meth cooks use anhydrous ammonia in the place of red phosphorus to extract methamphetamine from ephedrine by way of a chemical reaction when mixed with lithium (usually via battery innards). Anhydrous meth is used in several types of meth recipes – most popular are the nazi, shake and bake and birch methods.

To explain how dangerous anhydrous ammonia is, I couldn’t put it into words better than the National Ag Safety Database:

Anhydrous ammonia is a hydroscopic compound, which means that it seeks water from the nearest source, including the human body. This attraction places the eyes, lungs, and skin at greatest risk because of their high moisture content. Caustic burns result when the anhydrous ammonia dissolves into body tissue.Most deaths from anhydrous ammonia are caused by severe damage to the throat and lungs from a direct blast to the face. When large amounts are inhaled, the throat swells shut and victims suffocate. Exposure to vapors or liquid also can cause blindness.

An additional concern is the low boiling point of anhydrous ammonia. The chemical freezes on contact at room temperature. It will cause burns similar to, but more severe than, those caused by dry ice.

Under normal temperature and air pressure, anhydrous ammonia is a colorless gas. However, anhydrous ammonia is used and transported under pressure as a liquid. All equipment used for applying or transferring liquid anhydrous ammonia must be designed for use under high pressure to avoid ruptures or breaks.

Anhydrous ammonia has a distinct odor, which humans can detect in concentrations as small as 5 parts per million (ppm). When used in fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia has a concentration of about 1,000,000 ppm. Brief exposure to concentrations of 2,500 to 6,500 ppm can result in death.

Anhydrous ammonia is used to fertilize crops and can be deadly if inhaled over a period of time. Most injuries are caused by thieves inhaling or getting blasted in the face when stealing from a pressurized tank which causes the throat to swell and close. Exposure to vapors or liquid anhydrous ammonia also can cause blindness and severe burns.

Thieves generally steal anhydrous ammonia from large tanks that are found on farms or the co-ops which provide the farms with the ammonia using a hose similar to those found on the vacuum at your local car wash, but may be smaller in diameter depending on the size of the valve used on the tank.

Anhydrous ammonia is able to be stored under pressure for a period of time in pressurized vessels such as propane tanks and fire extinguishers, but can even be stored in small quantity for a very short period of time in a cooler or thermos for use in the shake and bake method of meth making. The corrosive properties of anhydrous ammonia can cause the fittings on the pressurized storage vessels to corrode and turn blue. As such, never use a propane tank if the fittings have turned blue, as the metal has likely been weakened and can potentially cause an explosion.


  • dickens cider

    Do you know the word “fart” can be used as a verb or a noun?

  • LeSloth

    I cannot begin to point out all the factual errors you have in basically all articles dealing around the production of meth. If you’re plan is to disseminate false information then I applaude you for your trolling skills. If you’re determined to make people paranoid and encourage them to spy on and denounce people (which has always been the best form of democracy!) then cudos. If you’re trying to be factual then research and revise all information because calling your ‘facts’ shitty would just be a complement.

  • the man to know

    nazi, shake n bake and birch are all the same thing

  • Isopropyli

    All:isopropylidenediphenol

  • Fheifh

    isopropylidenediphenol

  • Curious George?????????

    I recently moved in with some different family members. The past few days haved seemed strange. Im living in a single wide trailer and i think they are cooking meth underneath it. the underpinning is popped out every few feet. ive noticed a drainage ditch leading out from underneat. a ground wire from a near by telephone pole is being run under the place. i finally noticed a strange odor in the master bedroom. the youger kids got up this morning and they all had very red eyes. they were breathing hard, like they couldnt catch there breath. ive noticed small holes  in strange patterns on the inside walls of thr house. would this be for ventilation? im am concerned about mine, and the kids well being. Would somebody who knows more on the subject help me fill in the blanks?

  • SmittyOfCommittee

    I have been away from school for a long time, but is this really, well read it. “When used in fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia has a concentration of about 1,000,000 ppm”. Does that mean they have a concentration of 1,000,000 (1 million) ppm (Parts Per Million) would be an evened up 100%, would it not??