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University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Chemical Engineering

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Presentation on theme: "University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Chemical Engineering"— Presentation transcript:

1 Improved Nitric Acid Production via Cobalt Oxide Catalysis for use in Ammonia-based Fertilizers
University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Chemical Engineering CHE 397 Senior Design II April 24, 2012 Mentor: Bill Keesom Thomas Calabrese (Team Leader) Cory Listner Hakan Somuncu David Sonna Kelly Zenger

2 Today’s Agenda Recap of Questions from the Previous Meeting
Project Overview Design Basis Block Flow Diagram Process Flow Diagram Catalyst Choice Environmental Issues Review Economics Process Safety Review Report

3 Project Overview The nitric acid plant will be located in the Bakken Formation of the Williston Basin, located in Northwest North Dakota. Over 1.85 trillion cubic feet natural gas 3 3

4 Project Overview Wellhead gas will be purified by the Gas Purification Team and sent to the Ammonia Team. Ammonia Team will produce ammonia and send it to the Nitric Acid Team. Nitric Acid Team will convert ammonia to nitric acid. Nitric acid will be sent to Ammonium Nitrate Team

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6 Design Basis Produce 3,289 TPD of 63% wt. nitric acid solution (~14M)
Starting Reagents Ammonia (NH3) – TPD Air – 10,332 TPD Products 63% wt. Nitric Acid Solution (HNO3) - 3,289 TPD Steam (1,250 psi, 970F) – 1,843 TPD Environmental Concerns Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) (<200 ppm) Nitrous Oxide (N2O) (<200 ppm)

7 Ostwald Process Industry Standard for Nitric Acid Production
Ammonia Oxidation Nitrogen Monoxide Oxidation Absorption of Nitrogen Dioxide with Water Primary Chemical Reactions Oxidation of Ammonia to Nitrogen Monoxide 4NH3 (g) + 5O2 (g)  4NO (g) + 6H2O (g) Oxidation of Nitrogen Monoxide to Nitrogen Dioxide 2NO (g) + O2 (g)  2NO2 (g) Reaction of Nitrogen Dioxide to Nitric Acid 2NO2 (g) + O2 (g) + 2H2O (l)  4HNO3 (aq)

8 Block Flow Diagram 8 8

9 Process Flow Diagram

10 Benefits of Cobalt Oxide
Platinum-Rhodium Cobalt Oxide (Co3O4) Cost ($/short ton of HNO3 produced) $3 - $4 $ $0.75 Lifespan 3-4 months 12 months Downtime 4 hours to replace gauze at end of lifespan Remove Rhodium Oxide buildup (every 3-4 weeks) None Conversion Efficiency 93% - 96% 95% - 98% Operating Parameters 24-95 psi, °F 0-95 psi, °F Use Very common, industry standard New, commercial use Drawbacks Cost, lifespan, and greater N2O formation New reactor design, deactivation to CoO

11 Controlling N2O Release
Primary Methods-reduce N2O formed during ammonia oxidation 70-85% efficiency Add an “empty” reaction chamber between the catalyst bed and the first heat exchanger (increase residence time) Modify the catalyst used during the ammonia oxidation Secondary Methods-reduce N2O formed immediately after ammonia oxidation (Selective Catalytic Reduction) Up to 90% efficiency Secondary catalyst is used to promote N2O decomposition by increasing the residence time in the ammonia burner 2N2O (g)  2N2 (g) + O2 (g)

12 Controlling N2O Release
Tertiary Methods-reduce N2O from or to the tail gas (Non-Selective Catalytic Reduction) 80-98+% efficiency A reagent fuel (e.g. H2 from an ammonia plant purge) is used over a catalyst to produce N2 and water Alternatively, following SCR the tail gas is mixed with ammonia and reacts over a second catalyst bed to give N2 and water Catalytic Reduction : burning Molecular sieve: Selectively absorb NO2 and return to absorption tower Wet Scrubber: React the NOx through an aqueous solution, turns NOx into solid nitrates or salts 12

13 Economics: Materials Materials Material Requirement Base Cost
Total Cost [per year] Air 10,344 TPD $0.00/ton $0.00 Ammonia Vapor 571.5 TPD $350/ton $73,009,125 Nitric Acid* (SOLD) 2,571.2 TPD $220/ton $206,467,360 Nitric Acid** (SOLD) 717.8 TPD $300/ton $78,599,100 Steam (SOLD) 1,843 TPD $20/ton $13,451,491 Cobalt Oxide Catalyst - $0.50/ton acid $476,454 TOTAL + $225,000,000/year *Sold to Ammonium Nitrate, **Sold to Open Market 13 13

14 ICARUS Installed Costs ICARUS Yearly Operating Costs
Economics: ICARUS ICARUS Installed Costs Item Cost Equipment (Installed Cost) $329,370,000 Piping $1,900,000 Civil $530,000 Steel $100,000 Instrumentation $1,000,000 Electrical $2,500,000 Paint Other $4,500,000 G&A Overheads Contingencies $7,000,000 TOTAL CAPITAL COST $348,000,000 ICARUS Yearly Operating Costs Item Cost Operating Labor $640,000 Maintenance $905,000 Supervision $200,000 Operating Charges $230,000 Plant Overhead $912,000 Utilities $9,500,000 TOTAL -$13,000,000/year 14 14

15 Economics: NPV Payback Period: 7 years Expected Plant Life: 20 years
Yearly Profit Item Cost Materials +$225,032,372 Operation & Maintenance -$2,900,000 Utilities -$9,535,283 TOTAL Est. Profit: $213,000,000/year Payback Period: 7 years Expected Plant Life: 20 years Interest Rate: 8% Inflation Rate: 3% Installation Time: 3 years Installation Cost: $348 million Net Present Value after 20 years: $984 million Internal Rate of Return: 23.98% 15 15

16 Process Safety I Large release of process chemicals due to catastrophic failure Be prepared, emergency procedure with LECP Prevention of release & associated problems : Neutralizing materials Initial construction of components Release valves Bunding, dikes Ventilation Fireproofing Low release of process chemicals Caused by operator error, poor maintenance Large release: be prepared beforehand with in-depth study of potential hazards, evacuation plans LEPC: Local Emergency Planning Committee: -Write emergency plans to protect the public from chemical accidents; -Establish procedures to warn and, if necessary, evacuate the public in case of an emergency; -Provide citizens and local governments with information about hazardous chemicals and accidental releases of chemicals in their communities Initial Construction: Ensure that proper materials and design specification are chosen, quality construction, equipment can handle conditions outside of the normal range of operation, Relief valves to prevent a situation of overpressurization in the first place. Neutralization: for nitric acid, we can either stock a weak base or use third-party materials Operator error can include leaving a sample point open or a spill during loading and unloading 16 16

17 Process Safety II Other Safety Precautions Long-term exposure Noise
Maintain PEL and STEL as dictated by OSHA Noise Governed by OSHA, PEL of 90 dB Maintain & lubricate equipment, sound barriers, limiting exposure General protection Insulate or guard heated surfaces on working floor Good lighting Railings & non-slip surfaces Training, safety checklists Chemical ex Noise: 90 dB Time-Weighted Average, and above a certain threshold, we must implement Hearing Conservation Program for employees Heated surfaces must be 7 feet from ground in areas if not guarded 17 17

18 Completed Report Open Report

19 Summary Recap of Questions from the Previous Meeting Project Overview
Design Basis Block Flow Diagram Process Flow Diagram Catalyst Choice Environmental Issues Review Economics Process Safety Review Report

20 References Parkinson, Richard. UOP. Where Does It Go? An Introduction to the Placement of Process Equipment Available and Emerging Technologies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Nitric Acid Production Industry. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency <>. Best Available Techniques for Pollution Prevention and Control in the European Fertilizer Industry, Production of Nitric Acid. EFMA < PROGRAM-10/images/EFMABATNIT.pdf>.

21 Questions?

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