University of Kentucky Researcher Tries To Make Fertilizer Safer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A University of Kentucky researcher has found a way to lessen explosions from fertilizer.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Darrell Taulbee has developed a way to coat the ammonium nitrate with coal ash, diluting the material and diminishing the explosions. He thinks his method could stop the substance from being used for bombs and keep the fertilizer in farmers' hands.

Ammonium nitrate was the substance used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

After the attack, Taulbee thought of adding coal ash, a byproduct of coal-burning electric plants, to dilute the explosive chemical. He has tested his theory over the past two years.

Taulbee says two of the biggest advantages of coal ash over other dilution substances are that it's nontoxic and cheap.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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