Volunteer waits on the hook in Gravesend Bay in late March 2009, and thanks to Harold Tartell,


the same steel as Energy Altair, pushing an ammonia barge in the Mississippi watershed in this undated foto.   Now I hate to dwell on superficialities, but I will say K-Sea has a more attractive color scheme.


Last summer while traveling the Mississippi watershed, I learned that  “in Donaldsonville Louisiana. Natural gas is converted into ammonia and fertilizer. This ammonia is anhydrous, meaning it has no water in it.  Pure ammonia is inside two cylindrical tubes insulated and kept at negative 26 degrees by two very powerful compressors that run on diesel.  The ammonia gas from the tanks is its own refrigerant.

According to Martin Pepper, if a barge loses power to the compressor, the liquid will begin to boil. The tank safety valves will pop and ammonia gas is nasty. The best remedy for a breach is to spray the gas with a water spray and stay upwind. Lots of spray. Check Martin’s website here.

Lead photo:  WVD.