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Opportunities for Energy Conservation in Existing Ammonia Plants

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000221627D
Publication Date: 2012-Sep-14

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Page 01 of 32

OPPORTUNITIES

 
FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION IN EXISTING AMMONIA PLANTS

By

C. L. Becker, Associate Director, Process Department Pullman Kellogg, Houston, Texas

L. J. Buividas, Mgr. Inorganic Chemicals Division, Pullman Kello99, Houston, Texas

S. G. Dunn, Process Engineer Canadian Kellogg Co., Ltd.

Toronto, Ontario

WESTERN CANADA INDUSTRIAL

ENERGY CONSERVATION SEMINAR

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

November 22-24, 1976


Page 02 of 32

OPPORTUNITIES


FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION

IN EXISTING AMMONIA PLANTS

OUTLINE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

- Energy Consumption Thermodynamics - Principles of Energy Saving
- Economics of Energy Reduction

HOUSEKEEPING

- Hot End
- Synthesis
- Utilities

General

ENERGY SAVINGS WITH MINOR CAPITAL ADDITION

ENERGY SAVINGS WITH MAJOR CAPITAL ADDITION

SKETCHES EMPLOYING ENERGY SAVING DEVICES

SUMMARY AND SUGGESTIONS

REFERENCES

-I-


Page 03 of 32

OPPORTUNITIES

 
FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION IN EXISTING AMMONIA PLANTS

INTRODUCTION

Energy conservation is probably the most important, yet perhaps the least understood subject facing the industry. Many articles on energy and its conservation have been published (I), (2), (3), (4),

(5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (I0), (II), (12). As these articles show, conservation can take many forms, and unless clearly defined, energy conservation will be difficult to measure and will lead to erroneous and false conclusions. In this paper, we will endeavor to define areas and the ways and means less energy consumption can be realized in existing ammonia plants.

Reducing energy consumption in existing ammonia plants is a topic of great interest. It is also a subject of great complexity as there
are almost an infinite number of ways to operate an ammonia plant and almost as many ways to improve the operation, which in turn may result in less energy consumed.

-2-



Page 04 of 32

INTRODUCTION (CONT'D)

ENERGY CONSUMPTION THERMODYNAMICS

In looking at energy consumption one should start with the basics.

If the stoichiometric equation is written for the reaction of methane
with steam and air to make ammonia, the theoretical feed consumption
is about 17.9 MM BTU/ST with the theoretical exothermic heat of reaction
of about 0.5 MM BTU/ST, and the theoretical work out__~_t_t_t_t~_~ is 500 HP HR/ST
as the order of magnitude. Being theoretical, these figures only represent a target to shoot at. The actual fuel energy put into producing a ton of ammonia in current operating plants is approximately 14-16 MM BTU/ST and instead of the theoretical work out__~_t_t_tp_9~_of 500 HP HR/ST, we actually put in 1,000 HP HR/ST. The conclusion is that there is a lot of room for improvement.

Many chemists and engineers are giving much thought to "exotic" methods for nitrogen fixation such as biological, metal-organic complexes, laser beams, and the like, in an effort to approach the theoretical heat and work energy values (13), (14), (15) and (16).

-3-



Page 05 of 32

INTRODUCTION (CONT'D)

ENERGY CONSUMPTION THERMODYNAMICS

CH4 + 1.3974 H20 + 0.3013 02 + 1....