Nitrogen is “fixed” as ammonia (NH3) primarily by way of the Haber-Bosch process. This takes nitrogen from the air, hydrogen from natural gas and combines them at a 1:3 ratio and heats the mixture to 400OC at a pressure of 200 atm to form ammonia.

There are various “green” ammonia processes where the hydrogen comes from the electrolysis of water. The processes are considered green if the electrolysis uses renewable energy.

The ammonia is then used to form, in order of importance, urea, ammonium nitrate, nitric acid, ammonium phosphates and ammonium sulphate. The vast majority of ammonia is used in fertilizers, it is also used in explosives, plastics, synthetic fibres and numerous chemical compounds.

The Chinese are developing a maglev (magnetic levitation) train capable of speeds up to 620kph. The project uses high temperature super conducting magnets to keep the train elevated. The magnets are cooled by liquid nitrogen, rather than helium. This results in a substantial cost saving for the project.

Prototype Chinese maglev train

ASX nitrogen/urea stocks are rare. Here are four that produce urea and fertilisers or are planning to do so.

Strike Energy Ltd

CompanyASX CodeShare Price (c)Shares on Issue (M)Market Cap (M)Project
Strike Energy LtdSTX342010683Perth Basin, WA

Plans to produce urea (CO(NH2)2) from Greater Erregulla gas deposit in the Perth Basin

Leigh Creek Energy Ltd – LCK

CompanyASX CodeShare Price (c)Shares on Issue (M)Market Cap (M)Project
Leigh Creek Energy LtdLCK262713185Leigh Creek, SA

Plans to produce urea from gasification of Leigh Creek coal

Orica Ltd – ORI

CompanyASX CodeShare Price (c)Shares on Issue (M)Market Cap (M)Project
Orica LtdORI13884075656Aust & Canada

Produces nitrogen fertilizers, a very small part of overall business. Has 3 ammonium nitrate plants in Australia and one in Canada

Incitec Pivot Ltd – IPL

CompanyASX CodeShare Price (c)Shares on Issue (M)Market Cap (M)Project
Incitec Pivot LtdIPL23619424574Aust

The company makes a huge range of fertilisers, including several forms of nitrogen fertiliser.