BC Insight - Nitrogen+Syngas, Sulphur, Fertilizer International
Login
BCInsight Ltd
China Works
Black Prince Road
London, SE1 7SJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 2567
Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 2577

Publication > Issue > Articles

Ammonia production: options for improved CO2 removal

Summary

Carbon dioxide removal systems in ammonia plants are becoming more efficient and increasingly environmentally friendly. The development of specialised activators for different CO2 removal processes has vastly improved the absorption and regeneration properties of the solvents used, as well as minimising costly corrosion phenomena. The flexibility of newer solvent systems make retrofits simpler and less expensive. Nitrogen investigates.

Abstract

The CO2 removal system represents a major energy consumer in an ammonia plant. Because of this, an energy efficient gas scrubbing process is desirable. The economics of an ammonia plant require high on-stream times. Each extra plant shutdown due to a failure of the CO2 removal unit translates into lost production and adversely affects plant safety.

Add to basket


The fertilizer industry in India

Summary

India has the second highest population of any country, and this is still growing rapidly. To help feed these extra mouths, India, like China, has concentrated on developing its domestic fertilizer industry. Unlike China, India is hamstrung by a lack of available feedstocks and a convoluted pricing system, and as a result may have to accept a higher proportion of imports in the future.

Abstract

In August this year, India celebrated its fiftieth year of independence from Britain. During that time, the country has seen a transformation. The average life expectancy has doubled from 30 to 60 years, and infant mortality has halved. But the corollary has been an explosion in India’s population, nearly trebling since independence to an estimated 974 m people in 1997, and this figure is set to rise still further to 1.08 billion by 2005. India now represents one sixth of humanity, and, if current growth rates are continued, in 2040 India will overtake China as the most populous country on Earth.

In spite of this meteoric rise in population, GDP per capita has also doubled over the past 30 years, but over one third of India’s people still live in what is officially described by the UN as poverty. Half are illiterate, mostly due to a continuing lack of female education, and 70% have inadequate sanitation. Food production has doubled since 1947, but half of India’s children are malnourished by UNICEF definitions, a similar proportion to sub-Saharan Africa.

Like China, India spent most of the post-war era pursuing a policy of import substitution and self-sufficiency in all sectors, especially the fertilizer industry. Returns on investment were guaranteed by state-controlled prices which nearly bankrupted the country. However, recent years have seen a reversal of some of these policies. India’s gradual easing into the world economy this decade, while not as striking as China’s, has nevertheless led to exports reaching 12% of GDP. Economic growth has taken off, averaging 6% over the past decade, and is forecast to reach 9% for the 1997/8 financial year.

Add to basket


The US ammonia and methanol industries

Summary

The US is a giant in the world ammonia and methanol industries, most of this clustered along the coast of the gas-rich Gulf of Mexico. However, increasingly in recent years producers have found it more profitable to move to offshore locations, in particular Trinidad and Tobago.

Abstract

The United States is, after China, the largest producer in the world of ammonia. It is also the world’s largest producer of methanol. However, as the years have progressed, the US industry has found itself gradually losing out to new production overseas. This has increased dependence upon ammonia imports, and has turned the USA from a net ex-porter to an importer of methanol. New plant starts are at currently at a low ebb.

Add to basket


Zirconium passes the acid test

Summary

The excellent corrosion resistant properties of zirconium are finding increasing application in the production of nitric acid. Rob Henson* and Glenn Smith** report on its success so far.

Abstract

Although zirconium is the 19th most abundant element in the earth’s crust, it was not discovered and isolated until the early 1800s. In fact, zirconium remained an exotic material until the 1960s. However, in the last 30 years that has changed. Companies like Wah Chang have managed to successfully apply zirconium as an engineering material for the process industries. Today, zirconium plays a key role in the manufacturing of such essential products as acetic, formic and nitric acid, the latter of which is a predominant feedstock for the nitrogen fertiliser industry.

Add to basket