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Publication > Issue > Articles

CO2 in methanol production

Summary

Capital cost is the single biggest input into the economic feasibility of a large methanol project. However, with the increased concerns on the effect of CO2 emissions, operating efficiency and CO2 emissions are an increasingly important factor.

Abstract

For natural gas based methanol plants, typical options available for synthesis gas production are steam methane reforming (SMR) and SMR followed by oxygen blown autothermal reforming (ATR). SMR-based synthesis gas production is normally used for methanol plant capacities up to 2,500 t/d. The SMR followed by oxygen-blown ATR option is normally used for plant capacities greater than 2500 t/d. Keywords: CO2 reforming, CO2 purification, CO2 sequestration, CO2 capture, ATR, LCM, large scale methanol, Econamine FG Plus, Topsoe, Fluor, Johnson Matthey

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Fertilizers of superior uniformity

Summary

Mark Brouwer of UreaKnowhow.com reports on how Sandvik's Rotoform system can be used to deliver fertilizer-quality urea and blended products in a form that offers advantages to both producers and end users.

Abstract

For a fertilizer to be effective, two fundamental requirements must be satisfied. Firstly, it must contain the nutrients necessary to promote the healthy growth of the particular crop(s) for which it is designed. Secondly, it must be produced in a form that enables even and consistent delivery to the soil. Both of these require a high degree of product uniformity. In today’s market, professionals like turf grass managers, golf course superintendents and landscape managers will generally choose from three types of dry fertilizer: l granular bulk blend fertilizers l homogeneous Rotoform product fertilizers l homogeneous product fertilizers containing blends of two or three different nutrients. Keywords: Sandvik, Rotoform, Casale, Vortex granulator, product quality, pastilles, fertilizer blends

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Cold recycle fluid bed granulation

Summary

K. Monstrey of Green Granulation Technology introduces a novel urea granulation technology where energy saving, low investment costs and high product quality are combined in a new layout and optimised production process.

Abstract

Green Granulation Technology (GGT), a leading provider of fertilizer related process technologies in China, has developed a new urea granulation process that has been named cold recycle granulation or the CRG process. The essence of the process lies in handling cooling in a single step so that screening, crushing and recycling takes place with cold product. In this way, screens and crushers can be kept clean for longer and less dust is produced during processing. The CRG process has reduced the investment and operational costs of urea granulation, while optimising product quality and reducing dust emissions. Keywords: CRG process, Green Granulation Technology, fluid bed granulator, ducting, BLUeFil mist eliminator

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A model approach to urea operations

Summary

Luc Dieltjens of Stamicarbon gives an overview of Stamicarbon's capabilities and products in the field of urea plant modelling as part of a three stage full life cycle philosophy for urea plants.

Abstract

First-principles models have been used to support process operations in the chemical and petrochemical industries for over 40 years but hitherto only to a very limited extent in urea plants. The limited application to urea is mainly attributable to the steep rise in complexity, execution time, and other difficulties that must be addressed as the model size increases if it is to have the necessary accuracy and scope to give a reliable indication of overall economic impact on the business. Keywords: Stamicarbon, urea plant modelling, LAUNCH, ADVANCE, EVOLVE

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From prills to granules

Summary

When a prilling tower limits urea unit capacity, granulation technology can be used to fatten prills, resulting in greater capacity and improved poduct quality, due to the increase in the average size of the prills and the improved prill strength. Toyo and NIIK report on their granulation technologies and how they can be applied for prill fattening.

Abstract

Toyo’s approach to prill fattening Toyo’s spout-fluid bed urea granulation process is mainly applied to produce granular urea from urea solution but can also use urea prills as seeds to produce granular urea in a prill fattening plant. The Toyo spout-fluid bed granulation concept is shown in Fig. 1. The granulator consists of a spouted bed surrounded by a fluidising bed on a perforated plate, high performance spray nozzles, and spouting air pipes. Key features of the technology are reduced energy requirements and improved product quality. Keywords: Sandvik, Rotoform, Casale, Vortex granulation, fertilizer blends, product quality, pastilles

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Plant Manager+ Problem No. 30 What is the best stainless steel for urea?

Summary

Ammonium carbamate is an intermediate product in the production of urea from carbon dioxide and ammonia. Ammonium carbamate is very corrosive under the synthesis conditions in a urea plant. The various process licensors have developed different solutions to assure sufficient safety and reliability levels. In the early days titanium and 316L Urea Grade stainless steels were applied. The process conditions in the high pressure stripper are the most severe, i.e. the highest temperatures and lowest oxygen partial pressures are present. A new stainless steel 25-22-2 with a higher chromium content was developed specifically for the high pressure CO2 stripper. Super duplex materials like Safurex® and DP28W™ and Omega-Bond™ (a combination of zirconium with titanium) are the latest developments and have proven to be better than earlier materials, but what is the best material?

Abstract

Mr Janusz Mac´kowski of Zch Police in Poland starts the Round Table discussion: What is the best material for the stripper (tubes and liner) and the other synthesis equipment in a urea plant: Safurex®, Super duplex, DP28W™ (Sumitomo), bimetallic with Zr/25-22-2, any others? What is the actual level of oxygen they need? What is the best material for the urea reactor liner? Keywords: stainless steels, passivation, titanium, zirconium, 316 UG, 25-22-2, duplex stainless steels, Omega-Bond, Safurex, DP28W

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Facility siting issues

Summary

The proximity of residential areas to chemical facilities can be a headache for both producers and residents alike.

Abstract

The manufacture and storage of hazardous chemicals in the vicinity of residential areas is a particularly vexed area for the nitrogen industry, covering as it does the manufacture of ammonia, which can form a toxic gas cloud at normal temperatures and pressures, and ammonium nitrate, which under the wrong circumstances can be a fire accelerant or even in extreme cases the source of an explosion. The fire and subsequent explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West Texas in which 15 people were killed illustrated the potential dangers of storage of such chemicals in the vicinity of residential areas, and as bad as the accident was, the consequences could have been far worse if the nearby school – less than 1km from the seat of the explosion - had been occupied at the time. Keywords: ZONING, CSB, OSHA, EPA, RISK, AMMONIA, AMMONIUM NITRATE, EXPLOSIVE, SAFETY

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Changes in the global market for urea

Summary

A look at the major trends shaping the market for the world's most popular nitrogen fertilizer.

Abstract

Just as nitrogen is the most required plant nutrient, so urea is its major method of delivery, being high analysis (46% nitrogen by weight), easily transportable, and easy to apply in developing countries where more sophisticated liquid-based delivery systems are unavailable. It is also not subject to the same shipping, handling and storage regulations which have restricted ammonia and ammonium nitrate’s use as a fertilizer. IFA calculate that 55% of all nitrogen application worldwide is as a fertilizer, and fertilizer uses represent more than 80% of all urea consumption. Keywords: BRAZIL, CHINA, INDIA, AMERICA, VIETNAM, FSU, MIDDLE EAST, PRICE

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India's nitrogen policy

Summary

India faces increasing imports of urea at the same time as gas shortages prevent development of new capacity and producer subsidies weigh heavily on the treasury. Narendra Modi's government seems keen to cut this Gordian knot, but how?

Abstract

It has now been a year since Narendra Modi won the election that led to him becoming India’s new prime minister. There have been considerable expectations about Modi’s government in many quarters, but not least in the arena of fertilizers, one of India’s crucial industries. The business world was hoping for a number of eye-catching reforms to kick-start growth. Certainly GDP numbers seem to have been given a boost, rising from 4.5% growth in the 2013 financial year to 6.9% for the 2014 financial year. The falling rupee against the stronger dollar and low international oil prices have also most assuredly played their part in this, as India imports two thirds of its oil requirements from overseas. The index of industrial production appears to be moving in the right direction, and there is growth in important sectors like manufacturing, mining and electricity. However, inflation has fallen so fast as to become negative, which is not a good sign for an economy. Keywords: COAL, LNG, NPK, UREA, CAPACITY, GRAIN, NAPHTHA, SUBSIDY, MRP

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