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Publication > Issue > Articles

PGM prices impacting primary gauze technology

Summary

Johnson Matthey demonstrates its expertise in optimisation of PGM based ammonia oxidation catalysts for current market conditions. By developing more sophisticated gauze pack systems, it has been possible to reduce PGM metal weight and therefore nitric acid productions costs, whilst lowering N2O emissions and increasing conversion efficiency.

Abstract

Nitric acid catalysts, used for ammonia oxidation, are made from platinum group metals (PGMs). PGMs are used in bespoke gauze pack systems that are made to meet specific customers’ requirements, providing excellent conversion efficiency and optimum weight, whilst minimising N2O emissions and metal losses. Keywords: platinum group metals, PGM, PGM prices, price trends, platinum, palladium, rhodium, Johnson Matthey, ammonia oxidation catalyst, catalyst gauze, gauze pack, nitric acid, N2O emissions, HICON, ECO-CAT, autocatalyst, catchment, getter efficiency

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Expansion from the conventional to a multifunctional granulation design

Summary

Over the last 20 years Stamicarbon has been awarded 29 granulation plants covering a wide range of capacities. Today's challenge is the further expansion of the technology to a multi-functional granulation design, which is able to produce urea as well as specialty products like urea ammonium sulphate. B. Cuchiella of Stamicarbon recounts the history of the Stamicarbon urea granulation technology and describes the latest technology innovations.

Abstract

The original Stamicarbon fluid bed granulation process and the film spraying nozzle were developed in the late 1970s. After the initial development activities, the technology was first implemented in a commercial test facility in 1998 at Grodno Azot plant, Belarus, where a small granulation unit was completely converted to the Stamicarbon process. After this successful introduction of the Stamicarbon granulation process, scaling up took place at the Agrium urea complex in Fort Saskatchewan, Canada, where two existing granulation lines of 625 t/d were converted to the Stamicarbon granulation process. Keywords: urea granulation, multifunctional, specialty products, urea ammonium sulphate, UAS, Stamicarbon, film spraying nozzle, fluid bed granulator, Shahjalal plant, Bangladesh, large scale granulation, MMV scrubber, waste stream integration, modular UAS granulation, multiproduct granulation

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A silver bullet to higher margins

Summary

C. Schröder of thyssenkrupp Fertilizer Technology (tkFT) discusses the benefits of product diversification to match changing market requirements. Sulphur-enhanced urea fertilizers and non-fertilizer uses of urea are highlighted as potential attractive solutions for a wider product portfolio for urea producers based on the use of existing equipment.

Abstract

The opportunity to gain higher margins on product sales is always welcome. Product diversification provides such an opportunity. It mitigates risks of fluctuations in the market by providing customers with a greater variety of product options and services. It can distinguish a company from its competitors and can therefore give a tremendous boost to the company’s profitability and reputation. Keywords: sulphur deficit, soils, thyssenkrupp Fertilizer Technology, tkFT, product diversification, sulphur-enhanced urea, sulphur fertilizer, Shell, Thiogro, Urea-ES, scrubber, horizontal cross flow scrubber, UF-85, formaldehyde, carcinogen, formaldehyde free additive

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Highly efficient vibrations for urea granules

Summary

Pardis Petrochemical Company (PPC), Iranian owner of one of the world's largest urea granulation plants, uses RHEWUM direct excitation screening technology to achieve the desired high process efficiency, availability, reduced energy consumption and high quality urea granules.

Abstract

Increasing world food and energy consumption has led to growing demand for fertilizers and the need to save natural resources. For these reasons, a major producer of high quality urea in the Middle East decided to set up a third urea plant with the world’s latest urea granulation design. The aim of the producer for this long-term investment was to achieve the highest possible efficiency paired with reduced energy consumption. Keywords: fertilizer screening, screening machine, Pardis Petrochemical Company, PPC, urea granulation, RHEWUM, direct excitation screening technology, process efficiency, availability, energy consumption, high quality urea granules, distribution plate, screen cloth, quality control

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New steam superheater for ammonia production

Summary

A new steam superheater design has been developed to meet the needs of next generation ammonia plants. The improved design fulfils the critical criteria: life time, reliability, and availability, to provide the licensor and the customer with a more reliable solution for improved overall process efficiency. Dr Jörg Weidenfeller of Schmidtsche Schack / Arvos GmbH discusses the development, key features and benefits of the new design.

Abstract

The steam system in ammonia plants is often referred to as the heart of the production plant, since steam at different pressure levels is used for the process itself, as well as for the driving power for the process compressors. The steam is produced by waste heat recovery from the process and additional natural gas fired auxiliary boilers. Depending on the plant situation, modern steam systems are designed either for zero steam export or for steam export to produce electricity or, in case of an ammonia/urea complex, to supply steam and electricity to the urea plant since this plant is a consumer for both. To improve the overall process efficiency it is obvious that the steam system is a great lever. Keywords: steam superheater, ammonia plants, waste heat boiler, process gas cooler, PGC, Schmidtsche Schack, Arvos, U-type steam superheater, bayonet type steam superheater, corrosion

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Plant Manager+ Problem No. 53: Restriction orifices in VOP exchangers and their influence on biuret formation

Summary

Vertical one pass (VOP) heat exchangers are used in many 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.

Abstract

Munirm Munir of Pakarab Fertilizer in Pakistan starts the round table discussion: Can anyone share his/her experience of installation of restriction orifices in 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: vertical one pass heat exchanger, biuret, turbulence, fouling, control valve, orifice, vaccum section, evaporation section

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India's dream of self-sufficiency

Summary

Narendra Modi's government has announced its intention to move India back to the self-sufficiency it last enjoyed in urea production in the 1990s. Several urea projects are now under development which could see this goal achieved by 2022.

Abstract

India’s elections begin on April 11th and run to May 23rd, the largest democratic election in world history, with over 900 million people going to the polls. The results are hard to predict – India’s polling data can be very volatile. Best guesses put the likelihood of a BJP (via its National Democratic Alliance – NDA – coalition) led government at about 50-50, with the other main likelihood a government led by the Congress party, although a third party led coalition also remains an outside possibility. Keywords: SUPPLY, DEMAND, REVIVE, MODI, FCI, FCIL, LNG, MATIX, DBT, FARM, FARMER, FARMERS, COOPERATIVE, CO-OPERATIVE, NAPHTHA

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Hydrogen markets and syngas

Summary

Hydrogen production consumption is increasing rapidly as it is increasingly seen as a 'clean' fuel. The future role of syngas in its production however remains uncertain.

Abstract

Hydrogen appears to be having something of a renaissance. Back in the 1990s there was much talk of the forthcoming ‘hydrogen economy’. Hydrogen was seen, for example in the US Department of Energy’s ‘Green Hydrogen’ paper, as a way of reducing dependence on carbon-based fossil fuels. In particular two major roles were foreseen for hydrogen – as a transportation fuel, either burned directly or in fuel cells, overcoming the problems of battery power for vehicles; and as a way of storing energy from renewable fuel sources at times of low demand and high production. Keywords: COUNCIL, FUEL CELL, TRANSPORT, VEHICLE, BUS, TRUCK, CO2, CARBON, DECARBONISE, DECARBONIZE, POWER, CLIMATE, SYNGAS

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