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

Putting safety first

Summary

The Safety in Ammonia Plants & Related Facilities Symposium took place this year in Denver 18-22 September 2016. Ammonia producers from across the globe gathered to share their experiences and benefit from lessons learned in the industry.

Abstract

Approximately 400 engineers, operators and industry experts gathered in Denver in September for the 61st AIChE Annual Safety in Ammonia Plants & Related Facilities Symposium. This year’s keynote address took on a new format with a lively and interactive address from Paul Sovinski of Stars International who provided a ‘mini workshop’ on process safety leadership. He stressed that safety awareness and taking responsibility for safety should be an integral part of company philosophy across all levels of management and workers. The key leadership principles for being a safety leader were summarised as being someone who: Keywords: Ammonia Safety Symposium, Denver, risk assessment, safety strategies, plant failures, ammonia plant, toxic gas detection, rotating machinery, SCR catalyst cleaning.

Add to basket


New advances in platinum gauze systems

Summary

New generation gauze systems are achieving significant reductions in precious metal losses compared to conventional gauze layouts and can operate for longer campaign runs. Hindustan Platinum, Safina, Johnson Matthey and Umicore describe the benefits of their latest catalyst gauze systems for nitric acid plants.

Abstract

Commericalised in 1910, the Ostwald process for nitric acid production has been constantly optimised. Plant designs have been reviewed in order to achieve higher product throughput and better performance. The platinum catalysts, responsible for the selective oxidation of ammonia to nitric oxide have also been subject to several innovations: the introduction of getter gauzes helped to dramatically reduce platinum losses during operation. Another prominent innovation was the transition from woven gauzes to knitted gauzes, which allowed the installed weight of precious metals to be decreased and reduced losses without sacrificing overall performance. More recent developments have focussed on environmental aspects of the process such as lowering N2O emssions. Keywords: nitric acid, catalyst gauze, Pt, Rh, alloy, campaign length, knitting process, SAFINA, Hindustan Platinum, Johnson Matthey, Umicore.

Add to basket


Improved economics of ammonia-urea fertilizer plants

Summary

Several process schemes for the integration of the ammonia and urea plants in a fertilizer complex have been suggested in the past as a way to reduce both operating and investment costs but, so far, none of them has been realised. A new process scheme from thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (tkIS) aims to realise most of the cost savings promised by process integration but to avoid the critical issues associated with fully integrated concepts. J. Johanning and Y. Makhynya of tkIS describe the new concept and present the savings in energy consumption, waste heat to cooling water system and capital cost for a typical fertiliser complex.

Abstract

After a relatively slow start urea has become one of the most important commodities during the last three decades. Annual world consumption today is in excess of 180 million t/a with a significant yearly growth rate in the order of 3-4%. Urea has established itself as the number one nitrogen fertilizer. About 85-90% of the entire world urea production is directly used as fertlizer, either granulated, prilled or blended into UAN solution. However, there are also several important non-fertilzer uses, e.g. in the production of plastics such as melamine or urea formaldehyde, pharmaceuticals, animal feed additive or, relatively recently, as an ammonia source in NOx emission reduction systems for diesel engine powered vehicles. Keywords: process integration, ammonia, urea, energy consumption, capital cost, operating cost, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, CO2 removal, steam system, waste heat utilisation.

Add to basket


Waste to power

Summary

Ammonia production is a very energy intensive process. A Pandey of OPRA Turbines discusses the utilisation of byproduct gases released during the production of ammonia in energy conversion equipment like gas turbines to generate power and heat simultaneously. The gas turbine based cogeneration solution has the potential to save a significant amount of expensive fuel, reducing the cost of operation and specific CO2 emissions per tonne of ammonia produced.

Abstract

Ammonia production is the most energy-intensive process in nitrogen fertilizer production. This puts ammonia plants under scrutiny to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Often ammonia producers are under pressure to reduce production costs in conjunction with higher production gains to be competitive in the market. Energy in terms of electricity and heat, is an essential input for the ammonia industry, and ensuring its reliability and affordability is key for sustained development. Development of new energy systems via implementation of advanced energy conversion equipment is essential to realise these goals. Recent developments in the gas turbines industry to address energy efficiency and flexibility to operate on unconventional fuels has created new opportunities for ammonia plants. Keywords: OPRA Turbines, gas turbine system, energy generation, ammonia plant, energy efficiency, power, heat generation.

Add to basket


Plant Manager+ Problem No. 39: Warehouse curing for urea granules

Summary

Good storage and housekeeping practices are always important to ensure a safe workplace. Where possible, fertilizers should be stored in closed storage to protect the product from the weather (sun, rain etc.). The ideal storage conditions are: l Enclosed building capable of protecting the product from the weather and sunlight l Temperature between 5 and 50°C l Protect the fertilizer from moisture, which can cause lumps and dust, affecting spreading capabilities l Good stock management e.g. carried out on a first in first out basis.

Abstract

Muhammad Kashif Naseem from SABIC, Saudi Arabia starts this round table discussion: Can anyone explain the warehouse curing phenomenon for granulated urea product and the maximum time required for this, particularly in the summer season in the Gulf region with a product outlet temperature of around 50°C? Keywords: warehouse curing, fertilizer aging, urea granules, water content, relative humidity, caking, Solex Bulk Flow Cooler.

Add to basket


The global market for urea

Summary

Overcapacity in the urea market has driven prices to their lowest levels for several years. With more new plants on the horizon, there seems little prospect of a sea change in the immediate future.

Abstract

Urea continues to be the most popular and widely traded of all nitrogen fertilizers, seeing a steady rise in its use, especially in Asia. Because of its high nitrogen content (46%), it is seen as one of the most cost-efficient ways of delivering nitrogen to soils. While industrial and chemical uses are a faster growing segment of the market, demand remains dominated by agricultural uses; it is relatively easy to apply to fields, and has been favoured in developing countries with less sophisticated agricultural distribution chains and application methods. It is also not subject to the same shipping, handling and storage regulations which have restricted ammonium nitrate’s use as a fertilizer. However, as a consequence the politics of energy and agriculture often distort the market for urea itself. Keywords: CHINA, INDIA, GAS, COAL, NIGERIA, US, MELAMINE, AFRICA, TECHNICAL, UAN

Add to basket