Nitrogen industry today — one of the leading industries. The use of ammonia spread to the refrigeration equipment (R717 cooling agent), medicine (ammonia solution or ammonia, alcohol), agriculture (fertilizer).
The Primary attention is paid to the production of nitrogen fertilizers (and thus — and their bases, including ammonia, demand for which has increased over the past two decades by 20%).
But the production of ammonia is first and foremost highly energy intensive. The whole story of this production — the struggle for the reduction of the used energy (mechanical, thermal, electrical).
The Synthesis of ammonia discloses formula:
N2 + 3H2 = 2NH3 + Q
The Reaction is exothermic, reversible, with a decrease in volume. Since the reaction is exothermic, lowering the temperature will shift the equilibrium to the formation of ammonia, but the reaction rate is significantly reduced. The ammonia should go at high temperatures (synthesis takes place at 500 degrees Celsius). The increase in t° will lead to the opposite reaction. Pressure from 15 to 100 MPa allows to counteract the effect of temperature (low pressure — from 10 to 15 MPa, medium pressure — 25 to 30 MPa, high pressure — more than 50 MPa). Of these, preferable secondary.
A Catalyst is spongy iron with additives of calcium, silicon, potassium, aluminum oxides.
Contaminants (carbon monoxide, water, hydrogen sulfide) adversely affect the speed of the reaction, poisoning the catalyst, thereby lowering its activity and reducing the terms of service. This means that hydrogen sulfide the mixture must undergo a thorough cleaning. But even after cleaning ammonia is only part of the mixture. Therefore, the remaining unreacted proportion is again sent to the reactor.
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How is the production of ammonia?
In the pipeline already serves the prepared mixture of three parts of hydrogen and one of nitrogen. It passes through the turbocharger where it is compressed to a specified higher pressure, and directed into the column of synthesis with the catalyst built-in shelves. The process, as we have seen, is strongly exothermic. Eye-catching the warmth of the heated nitrogen-hydrogen mixture. From the column comes out to about 25 percent ammonia and unreacted nitrogen and hydrogen. The entire composition is supplied to the refrigerator, where the mixture is cooled. Ammonia under pressure becomes liquid. Now the work enters the separator, whose task — to separate ammonia into the collection at the bottom and the unreacted mixture, which is returned by a circulating pump back to the column. Due to this circulation of nitrogen-hydrogen mixture is used on 95 percent. Liquid ammonia ammonia is sent to a special warehouse.
All devices used in production, as leakproof as possible, eliminating leakage. Use only energy occurring inside exothermic reactions. Scheme closed-loop, low-waste. The costs are reduced thanks to a continuous and automated process.
Ammonia affects on the environment. Inevitable gas emissions, including ammonia, oxides of carbon and nitrogen and other impurities. Stands of low-grade heat. Discharged water after flushing cooling systems and the reactor.
Therefore, in the production of ammonia, you need to enable the catalytic purification with the presence of a reducing gas. Reduce the amount of wastewater can be achieved by replacement of reciprocating compressors in turbochargers. Low-grade heat can be reclaimed by the heat input of high potential. However, this will increase the contamination of the flue gases.
Power scheme including combined cycle, which uses steam as the heat and products of combustion, at the same time and improve the production efficiency, and reduce emissions.
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