Keywords: Energy efficiency, Ammonia plant revamp, Fertiliser production.
Times are tough for fertiliser producers! The seemingly ever rising energy prices have a major impact on the manufacturing costs of ammonia. Market prices of ammonia have therefore sharply risen in the last year. Nitrogen containing fertilisers like NPKs, MAP and DAP feel that impact strongly: their manufacturing costs have increased correspondingly. But the biggest impact of the rising ammonia prices is felt by the manufacturers of straight nitrogen fertilisers like ammonium nitrate, calcium ammonium nitrate and urea. This price development does not only affect the producers, but also the marketers, distributors and users of fertilisers. Apart from hoping for better times, there is little they can do about it. Fortunately, there is one professional group that can do something about it: the fertiliser plant design engineers! They can come up with technical solutions for lower production costs of fertilisers, notably in times of high energy prices.
This paper deals with some of these engineering solutions. It concentrates on technical revamps of existing fertilisers plants, with the aim to improve their energy efficiency. As ammonia is by far the major energy consumer in the fertiliser production world, it will not be a surprise that most of the lines are devoted to revamps of ammonia plants. But the cross-fertilisation aspect of ammonia plant revamps with the design of nitric acid plants, ammonium nitrate plants, complex fertiliser plants and urea plants is not forgotten, and briefly touched as well.
This paper does not pretend to describe a complete range of revamp techniques. Its aim is exclusively to highlight a non limiting selection of existing technical revamp options for fertiliser plants. Explained for a mixed audience of technologists, producers, marketers, distributors and users. With the aim to illustrate that some of their worries regarding the impact of high energy prices can be taken away in an economically justified fashion.
Wim Verduijn, Kemira Agro Rozenburg BV, The Netherlands
Jaap de Wit, Continental Engineering BV, The Netherlands
24 pages, 9 plates, 8 figures, 2 tables, 4 refs.