Keywords: Ammonium nitrate, ion-exchange, Fertarex, waste water treatment, nitrogen fertiliser, water recovery.
For the last forty years ion-exchange has been used successfully for the recovery of ammonia (NH3) and ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) from the contaminated waste effluents discharged from ammonium nitrate plants. A special short cycle ion-exchange system regenerates the cation resin using 55-60% nitric acid (HNO3) and the anion resin with 12-20% NH3, recovering the discharged nitrogen products with an efficiency of more than 99.8%. These are recovered as a concentrated 18-25% NH4NO3 solution, while the water becomes high quality de-mineralised water. Due to the recycling of all products back to the process plant, a minimal or even zero level of this waste effluent is discharged to the environment. The ion-exchange process, as used in various fertiliser plants, has important economic advantages.
Nicolai Arion1 and Guy Mommaerts2
1 Arionex Wasseraufbereitung, Basel, Switzerland.
2 Ion Exchange Services, Elora, Canada.
19 pages, 12 figures, 1 table, 19 references