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This new, dual-pressure nitric-acid process is commercially available

By Gerald Ondrey |

Last month, Weatherly Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR Inc. (Houston; www.kbr.com) introduced its new dual-pressure nitric acid (DPNA) technology, which enables economically viable production of HNO3 in large scale [over 1,000 metric tons per day (m.t./d)], as part of large fertilizer-production complexes. The technology was launched at the 2016 AN-NA (Ammonium Nitrate – Nitric Acid) conference (September 16–23; Eindhoven, the Netherlands). In the DPNA process (diagram), ammonia is first oxidized with air over a platinum catalyst at high temperature and low pressure (LP). The product of the LP oxidation is passed through a heat exchanger to recover a major portion of the heat. The process gas is cooled and oxidized further in a LP cooler condenser, where NO, NO2, O2 and water combine to form dilute HNO3. Some of the reaction energy is recovered and used to reheat the tail gas. The LP process gas is then compressed in the NOx-gas compressor, and fed to high-pressure (HP) cooler condenser and absorber to form product HNO3 (68%). Tail gas from the absorber is reheated to 1,150°C and used to drive a hot-gas expander to generate power for the air compressor and NOx-gas compressors. Weatherly’s DPNA process is said to deliver…
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