Ammonia Manufacture

to remain a liquid. At standard tepm. . It is toxic and corrosive to some materials and has a characteristic pungent Odour. Ammonia used commercially can be anhydrous ammonia or an aqueous solution of ammonia and water reffered to as ammonium hydoxide. Anhydrous ammonia must be stored under pressure or at low temp. And pressure ammonia is a gas.Introduction Ammonia is compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with formula NH3.

It also some times added to drinking water along with chlorine to form chloramines a disinfectant. Since it liquefies readily under pressure and was used in virtually all refrigeration units prior to the advent of haloalkane. it used to manufacture a lot of other chemicals compounds like HCN and explosives etc.Uses of Ammonia      In addition to serving as a fertilizer ingredient like urea. ammonium nitrate. . it can also be used directly as a fertilizer by forming a solution with irrigation water. without additional chemical processing. Ammonia has good thermodynamics properties that make it very well suited as a refrigerant. The second important single use of ammonia is in the production of nitric acid.

Block Diagram Of Steam Reforming Process .

26 N2 +3H2 2NH3 .88CO2 +1. based on methane feedstock are given in the following approximate formulae 0.88CH4 + 1.24 H2O N2+ 3H2 0.26 Air +1.Overall Conversion The theoretical Process conversion.

Typically using a Cobalt molybdenum catalyst and then adsorbed on pelletised ZnO. . The feddstock normally contains upto 5mg/Nm3(normal m3) as sulfur compounds. The feedstock is pre heated to 350-400Co and then treated in a desulphurization vessel.Feedstock Desulphurization Most of the catalysts used in the process are sensitive to sulfur and sulfur compounds. where the sulfur compounds are hydrogenated to H2S.

1ppm sulfur in the gas feed. .Cont… R-SH + H2 H2S + RH H2S + ZnO ZnS + H2O In this way sulfur is remove to less than 0. The ZnS remains in the adsorption bed. The hydrogen for the reaction is usually recycled from the synthesis reaction.

Mixture is then heated further to 500-600Co before entering the primary reformer. .Steam Rforming Primary Reforming The gas from desulphurizer is mixed with process steam. The composition of the gas leaving the primary reformer is given by the close approach to the following chemical equilibria CH4 + H2O CO + 3 H2 ΔH=206kJ/mol CO + H2O CO2 + H2 ΔH= .41kJ/mol The heat for the primary reforming process is supplied by natural gas or other fuel. The overall reaction is highly endothermic. The primary reformer consist of a large number of high nickel chromium alloy tubes filled with nickel containing reforming Catalyst.

must be raised to increase the conversion.Secondary Reforming Upto 85% hydrocarbon feed is reformed in the primary reformer because of the chemical equilibria at the actual operating Conditions. The temp. which also provides the N2 for the final synthesis gas H2 + Air N 2 + H 2O The process gas is cooled 350-400Co in a waste heat boiler. . This is done in the secondary reformer by internal combustion of the part of gas with process air.

The LTS converter is filled with a zinc oxide based catalyst and operated at about 200-220Co. Shift Conversion (HTS). the gas is passed through a bed of iron oxide/ chromium oxide catalyst at around 400Co. Shift (LTS) converter. limited by shift equilibrium at the actual operating Temp. The gas from HTS is further cooled to increase the conversion and through the Low Temp.2-0.Shift Conversion process gas form the secondary reformer contains 12-15% CO (dry gas bases) and most of the CO is converted in the shift section according to the reaction CO + H2O CO2 + H2 ΔH= .4%(dry gas base). . where the CO content are redused to 3%(dry gas base). The residual CO content in converted gas is 0.41kJ/mol In the High Temp.

The solvent used in chemical absorption processes are mainly aqueous amnie solution ( Mono Ethanolamine (MEA) ) . N2.CO2 Removal The process gas from LTS converter contains mainly H2. Propylene carbonate and other. The CO2 is removed in a chemical or physical absorption process. di-methyl ethers (selexol). CO2 and the excess process steam. . The gas is cooled and most of the excess steam is condensed before it enters the CO2 removal System. Activated Methyl Di-Ethanolamine (AMDEA) or hot potassium carbonate solutions. Physical solvents are glycol.

Are poisonous for the ammonia synthesis catalyst and must be removed by conversion of CH4 in the methanation CO + 3H2 CH4 +H2O CO2 + 4H2 CH4 + 2H2O The reaction take place at around 300Co in the reactor filled with a nickel containing catalyst. Methane is an inert gas in the synthesis Reaction.Methanation The small amount of CO and CO2 . . remaining in the synthesis gas. This is done by cooling and condensation downstream of the methanator. but the water must be removed before entering the convertor.

usually driven by stream turbines. with the steam being produced in the ammonia plant. is 364Co. .Synthesis Gas Compression After mathanation the gas pressure is 27kg/cm2 and temp. This gas is pressurized to 151Kg/cm2 as required by the synthesis reaction. Modern Ammonia plants use centrifugal compressor for synthesis gas compression .

Ammonia Synthesis The synthesis of ammonia is takes place on an iron catalyst at pressure usually in the range 100-250bar and temp. thus maintaing the pressure. In addition . N2 + 3H2 2NH3 ΔH = . extensive heat exchanger is required due to exothermic reaction. . and unreacted is substituted by the fresh make up synthesis gas.46 kJ/mol Only 20-30% is reacted per pass in the reactor due to the Unfavorable equilibrium conditions. 350-550Co . The ammonia that is formed is separated from the recycle gas by cooling/ condensation.

NH3 Purification Conventional reforming with methanation as the final purification step produces a synthesis gas containing inerts ( metane and argon) in quantities that do not dissolve in the condensed Ammonia. The major part of these inerts are removed by taking out a purge stream from the loop. The purge gas is scrubbed with water to remove ammonia before being used as fuel or before being sent for hydrogen recovery. .


Energy Conservation  Conservation and reuse of heat is so vital that it has been said that an ammonia plant is really a steam generating plant that incidentally produces ammonia. Much more steam than ammonia is made 4:1 .

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