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Publication > Issue > Articles

The GV low-energy CO2 removal processes

Summary

Giammarco-Vetrocoke's CO2 removal processes have a long history. L. Tomasi of Giammarco-Vetrocoke describes the continuous developments to the GV low-energy regeneration processes, focusing on the main improvements and key benefits of the different process schemes.

Abstract

Giammarco-Vetrocoke (GV) has been a leading licensor of CO2 removal processes based on activated hot potassium carbonate (HPC) solutions since 1955 and has built up a reference list of more than 365 applications worldwide. GV has placed significant focus on the continuous improvement of the CO2 removal processes with the target to minimise energy consumption and maximise feedstock utilisation by optimising plant reliability and operation in new and/or revamped units. Keywords: GV low-energy process, CO2 removal, multi flash regeneration, MFR, vacuum pressure regeneration, VPR, GV low energy hybrid scheme, GHS, dual pressure regeneration, DPR, stripper, revamping, HPC, grass root.

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The important role of DEA promoter in Benfield systems

Summary

Utilising the ProTreat® simulator, R.H. Weiland, G.S.A. Weiland and M. Bailey of Optimized Gas Treating, Inc. have investigated how DEA affects CO2 removal in hot potassium carbonate solutions. It was found that if the CO2 unit is properly designed, what really determines treated gas quality is the performance of the regenerator, which can be greatly improved by using DEA.

Abstract

Hot potassium carbonate processes (also known as “Hot Pot” or Benfield) for carbon dioxide removal in ammonia production are characterised by both absorbers and regenerators running very hot (typically ranging from 100-130°C) so that heat integration in the form of large lean-rich cross exchangers is unnecessary. Regeneration is driven by a pressure swing from a high absorber pressure to a low regenerator pressure, but is aided by steam stripping, as opposed to the temperature swing and predominantly steam stripping typical of amine systems. Nevertheless, removing CO2 remains energy intensive, and a variety of conservation schemes is used. Keywords: ProTreat, simulator, Optimized Gas Treating, OGT, DEA, CO2 removal, hot potassium carbonate solution, regenerator, Hot Pot, regeneration, ammonia production, chemistry, fractional conversion, Benfield, absorber, regenerator, mass transfer, packing, promoter.

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Revamping for lower CO2 slip

Summary

High CO2 slip is a common problem experienced in ammonia plants. V.K. Arora of Kinetics Process Improvements, Inc. (KPI)discusses the cost-effective revamp experience of a CO2 removal system of an ammonia plant with an attractive payback of just a few months.

Abstract

An ammonia plant with an MDEA-based CO2 removal system was earlier converted from an old MEA-based system as a part of the overall ammonia plant capacity revamp from the original nameplate capacity of 600 short t/d to approximately 1,100 short t/d. The original absorber and stripper columns were used with trays replaced with packings and other internals. Fig. 1 shows the existing single-stage MDEA CO2 removal system scheme. Keywords: KPI, revamp, CO2 removal, ammonia plant, CO2 slip, liquid distributer, vapour distributer, solvent circulation, solvent concentration, packing, packing height, absorber, upgrade, economics, MDEA, ammonia production.

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Meeting the challenges of coal-based methanol

Summary

The challenging operating conditions of coal-based methanol plants and the economic need in recent years to build them on an ever larger scale has necessitated a technological breakthrough in methanol synthesis loop design. Casale has more than a decade of experience of coal-based methanol plants in China and shares some of its experiences.

Abstract

Methanol synthesis loop technology heavily depends on several crucial process variables: synthesis gas composition, catalyst activity and quality, synthesis loop recycle ratio and converter operating pressure. Synthesis gas composition Natural gas is the most widely used feedstock in most of the world but, in the last decade, a sizeable methanol industry has grown up in China using coal as its source of carbon. The composition of the synthesis gas produced by steam reforming of natural gas is sufficiently different from that produced by gasification of coal to give rise to differences in the process flowsheet and engineering of the methanol synthesis loop. Keywords: Coal-based methanol, methanol synthesis, Casale, China, catalyst activity, synthesis loop, Isothermal Methanol Converter, IMC, methanol converter, syngas, syngas generation, poisons, makeup gas, byproduct formation.

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Lessons learned from urea incidents

Summary

P. Baboo of National Fertilizers Limited, M. Brouwer and J. Eijkenboom of UreaKnowHow.com, B.V. and M. Mohammadian of OCI N.V. provide a detailed analysis of the first 100 urea safety hazards registered on the UreaKnowHow.com open source risk register for urea plants. The most critical safety hazards are described and prevention and mitigation measures are provided.

Abstract

In 2017, AmmoniaKnowHow.com and UreaKnowHow.com introduced global open source risk registers for ammonia and urea plants. As of January 1, 2018, the “UreaKnowHow.com Risk Register Safety Hazards in Urea Plants” contained its first 100 safety hazards related to more than 100 safety incidents, which led to at least 65 casualties and 217 people injured. Keywords: urea, safety hazard, register, UreaKnowHow.com, risk register, urea plants, synthesis, feed, equipment, piping, pumps, toxic, ammonia, HAZOP, carbon dioxide, construction, commissioning, maintenance, operation, risk factor, leaks, ammonia release, prevention, mitigation measures, start-up, crystallisation, vibration, backflow, hydrogen explosion, carbamate corrosion, atmospheric corrosion, insulation.

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Plant Manager+: Problem No. 51: Restriction orifices in VOP exchangers

Summary

Vertical one pass (VOP) heat exchangers are commonly applied in urea plants. As the residence time in these heat exchangers is small, unwanted side reactions like biuret formation and hydrolysis of urea are limited. Liquid enters the tubes of the heat exchanger at the bottom side via a control valve. Due to the pressure drop over this control valve some flashing will occur. Furthermore the heat input from the shell side will also result in gas formation. The gas causes a turbulent environment at the tube side increasing the heat exchange coefficient.

Abstract

Munirm Munir of Pakarab Fertilizer in Pakistan initiates the discussion: Can anyone share their experience of installation of restriction orifices in the vertical one pass (VOP) evaporation heaters (E-14, E-15 or other) in a Saipem urea plant and the reduction in biuret as a result? Keywords: heat exchanger, vertical one pass heat exchanger, biuret, feed distribution, urea, fouling, evaporation, orifice, control valve, restriction orifice, plug, pressure drop, urea solution, melt.

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Latin America's syngas industries

Summary

Trinidad and Brazil's gas constraints, Venezuela's social and economic ferment, and new plants in Bolivia and Mexico are all contributing to the changing dynamics of this region.

Abstract

Initially based on ‘stranded’ natural gas or associated gas from oil production, considerable volumes of ammonia and methanol production were built in Latin America from the 1970s to 1990s, much of it export-oriented. However, rising demand for natural gas for power production has changed the economics of producing in the region, while domestic demand for nitrogen fertilizer continues to rise, especially in Brazil. Much of the new capacity appeared in Trinidad and Venezuela, aimed at the North American market, but the change in the US gas market has likewise led to a revival in capacity there and shut Caribbean producers out. Keywords: TRINIDAD, VENEZUELA, BRAZIL, PERU, ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, CHILE, MEXICO, METHANOL, AMMONIA, UREA, PETROBRAS, CARIBBEAN

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Waste to syngas

Summary

The growing lack of landfill space in developed countries is leading to increased interest in the gasification of municipal waste to produce power, and even fuels, chemicals and fertilizer.

Abstract

According to the World Bank, 1.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) was generated in 2010, and that figure is projected to reach 2.2 billion t/a by 2025. While recycling rates are improving in the developed world, as Figure 1 shows, even in the environmentally-conscious European Union, the average citizen generated 480 kg of waste in 2016, and only 29% of this was recycled. While Figure 1 shows that rates of disposal to landfill are falling, in some cases this has been of necessity, as suitable sites for disposal are filling up and permits to develop new sites are becoming harder to come by. Keywords: ENERKEM, WASTE, LANDFILL, ALTERNRG, TEES, ENERGOS, VELOCYS, FULCRUM, MATTHEY, METHANE, GASIFY, GASIFICATION, GTL, FISCHER, METHANOL

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