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A more efficient way to reduce emissions from nitric acid plants

By Gerald Ondrey |

Haldor Topsoe A/S (Lyngby, Denmark; www.topsoe.com) has recently introduced TertiNOx, a new catalyst for simultaneously reducing nitrous oxide (N2O) and oxides-of-nitrogen (NOx) emissions from the tailgas of nitric-acid production plants. The company estimates that this alternative to conventional abatement methods will save up to €350,000/yr in a typical 1,000 metric tons (m.t.) per day nitric acid plant, based on a €5 per ton of CO2 price annually per 100 parts per million (ppm) N2O emissions reduction. N2O is an unwanted byproduct in the production of nitric acid and adipic acid, and its global warming potential is about 300 times higher than CO2. In recent years, N2O emissions have decreased significantly, especially in Europe. However, there is still considerable potential for further reductions of this hazard. Unlike pellet-type catalysts that require a complex, two-bed radial-flow reactor design, TertiNOx is a monolith impregnated with iron zeolite that enables a much simpler, smaller and less expensive reactor design (diagram), says the company. This combination reduces reactor material costs by 30% and reduces pressure drop by up to 80% compared to the radial-flow design. It will also result in an increased acid production,…
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