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??

  • JiggyPotamus

    Pretty much. And the anhydrous ammonia is something that would be created within the reaction vessel. I am not that knowledgeable regarding this drug, but I understand chemistry, and from what I have read this would not be considered the purist way of making such a drug. If by purist we are referring strictly to ease of synthesis then I suppose that the article is accurate in that regard. But as far as popularity and length of use a reaction involving phosphorous and iodine would probably take the number one spot.

    So anyway, utilizing these newly popular methods of synthesis, nobody would be storing anhydrous ammonia for later use or anything. It would be produced in the vessel with all the other chemicals present in the reduction, NH4NO3, NaOH, Li, a non-polar solvent like ether, etc.

    I recently heard about people using this method and have learned that people are actually mixing water with Lithium in a soda bottle. I would think one could stay relatively safe from pressurization if they could vent the bottle, but the problem with adding water to lithium probably shouldn’t need to be stated. It could flare up so quickly and cause such an increase in pressure that it would burst…And considering what else would be in the bottle, I probably don’t need to say how badly that could end.

    Anyway, what I do not understand is why these people are adding water in the first place…?!!!? That just seems unnecessary to me as far as the reaction taking place, but seems inherently more dangerous. I think if one sat down and calculated the correct masses of the chemicals used in such a reduction, and used those, they should find their reaction takes place just fine without adding freaking water to the mix. Performing any dangerous reaction in a soda bottle is stupid, but if you’re going to do it, at least do it with the least amount of danger possible. People who get hurt doing this crap are just costing taxpayers more money anyway.

  • Shane Brady

    lol. TOTALLY different methods:/ Well…similar, but a LOOONG way from the same:/

  • Shane Brady

    Some info bud:). The RP/I reaction, is LOONG, a lot of work, a lot of chemicals and glassware, and only a 50% return on your PSE:/ NOT a very good method:/ A birch, using Lithium instead of sodium, needs only an elenmeyer, PSE, Lithium, anhydrous, cooling chems, some plastic bits, a gasser, usual full safety gear!! NOW, in a few hours, you can make a 100 grammer, of 95% plus, with up to an 80% return!! THE, best gear you can make, and its easy:) S and B, uses Li bronze, made by reacting a mix of an ammonia source, with NAoH, a tiny amount of distilled water is injected UNDER the Li layer, to slowly kick off the reaction. Its not violent, if you are not an idiot wiith water:/ After bronze is made, uncleaned PSE tabs go in[crushed] and are shaken into the mix, the way its done RIGHT, it rarely needs burping, it builds to a pressure that becomes self inhibiting!! Once your solvent is ammonia saturated, you need no more, just time for bronze to form/. After shaking in PSE, wait 45 minutes at a Li to PSE ratio of a half a strip a box, Way more than needed, but keep your reaction to 45 mins, it cant overreduce, better to much, than to little, it filters out easy!! I wont go in to the rest, but i wiill say, this gear, is BLOODY potent, and SUPER clean!! Its LOVED, it fetches a hundred a point!! Shitty S a nd B,lol. right, if you have no clue:/ You CANNOT work out a definite formula for this, you cant:/ The reaction will not get going without 5 mils of DH20 injected under the fert! In NO WAY, can this make it a dangerous activity. STUIPIDITY is what causes stuffups here, idiots with not a skerrick of chemistry knowledge:/ Soda bottles??..yehh, i know the usual yank bullshit, drano, impure lye, impure solvents, 2 litre coke bottles,lol.hahaha..MORONS!!!! Sodastream bottles for home carbonation are VERY strong, and will easily take 100 PSI!! S a nd B, done right, has ZERO chance of building up that much, without the gas production being near completely inhibited! So, it comes down to clean chems, KNOWLEDGE!!,, common sense, and its not a big deal, full safety gear, mask, suit, CAREFUL!! I perfected this years ago, but i do not like the stuff,lol. Its chemistry i love, it was a challenge. If i wanted, i could do full anhydrous BIG cooks, but im morally against it, its badshit when abused, which is most of the time:/ There will always be 20 fools to each guy with SOME idea:/ More like 100 to 1 for a real cook per fool..more really:/ So, what can ya do?? They wont stop, you cannot tell em anything:/ They know it all:/…Kids:/ Well, i hope you know a bit more about the coming plague, and i dont mean the gear, more and more idiots are going to burn themselves up:/

  • Shane Brady

    yes, its obvious:). TO fart..verb…A fart…noun:/