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Technology Profile: Ammonia Production from Natural Gas

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Ammonia Production from Natural Gas – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/ammonia-production-cost. Ammonia (NH3) is among the most important industrial chemicals, produced by reacting nitrogen and hydrogen in a 1:3 stoichiometric ratio. This world-class commodity chemical is used in a myriad of applications, from fertilizers to wood pulping and drugs. The process The process described in the following paragraphs is similar to the KBR Purifier process, in which ammonia is synthesized following production of synthesis gas (syngas) from natural gas via steam reforming (Figure 1). Figure 1. Process similar to KBR purifier for ammonia production from natural gas[/caption] Natural-gas steam reforming. After being compressed and desulfurized, natural gas is mixed with steam for primary steam-reforming reactions. In a tubular fired heater filled with a nickel-based catalyst, the methane is reacted with steam, generating a crude syngas mixture composed mainly of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2). The partially reformed natural gas is fed to the autothermal reformer (ATR), where the remaining methane is converted to CO and H 2. The effluent from…
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