1. Plant Operations and Materials of Construction
Case Study- Process Gas Cooler Failure Analysis in Ammonia Plants
Qir Fertilizers & Chemical Industries
Fertilizer Co. (AFC)
owns and operates three ammonia plants. A waste heat
recovery boiler “Process Gas Cooler (PGC)” is installed downstream the
secondary reformer in each plant. A repeated tube failure and tube-sheet
propagation of some cracks were occurred in PGC of AFC II (Stiffed type). The
diagnosis revealed that the failure is mainly related to the thermal cycle over
30 years from thermal shocks during startups and shutdowns, as well as the
restriction of water circulation at the back of the tube sheet (steam
blanketing) which led to Dry – Wet conditions. The paper presents the actual
operating problems experienced in process gas cooler in two ammonia plant in
Abu Qir and the root cause analysis of their failure. it also highlights on the
main critical issues have to be considered and carefully reviewed in process
gas cooler designs.
Learned during root cause analysis to fix Operational Challenges of two Ammonia
Plants in Nigeria
Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited (IEFCL)
operates state-of the art Fertilizer
complex in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
The paper will
discuss challenges and solutions connected with:
- Foaming Problem in CO2 removal Section
- Frequent variation in Primary Reformer draft
- Conductivity variation in Package Boiler steam
- Tube leakage in Syn loop steam generator (A-123-C1)
CO2 Injection Point from Synthesis Loop to Steam Methane Reformer Inlet in a
presentation will focus on a Steam-Methane-Reformer (SMR) based methanol plant,
where the stoichiometric number (defined as SN=H2-CO2/CO+CO2) is higher than
optimum value for methanol synthesis application due to the reforming
chemistry. The excess H2 in methanol synthesis loop ends up as unconverted
gases and has to be purged out and used as fuel in reformer. Injecting CO2 in a
methanol process is an effective and proven way to reduce the stoichiometric
number and effectively convert waste CO2 into a value-added chemical
(methanol). As a result of such practice, overall energy utilization in the
plant can be optimized by either maintaining same production level with less
energy consumption or increasing methanol production capacity.
the storage of liquid ammonia in large-scale flat-bottom tanks
operating a 30.000 m³ Full Containment Ammonia Storage Tank in KSA and has
since designed and constructed various further ammonia storage tanks
As the use of
liquid ammonia continues to expand beyond the fertilizer industry to an
attractive hydrogen and energy carrier, there is a growing demand for even
larger storage sizes, nearing those of LNG.
Storage tanks are not new and have been built for decades. However, the mere
sizes that are planned to be built in the coming years, pose new challenges to
ensure the safety and integrity of these storage tanks.
study - High-Silica
Content Refractory Lined Secondary Reformer
, Pakistan recently experienced an unexpected refractory failure
in their secondary reformer which had a satisfactory operation &
describes an operational problem encountered by Engro Fertilizers Limited,
Pakistan involving unexpected refractory failure in their secondary reformer.
Discussion will also be carried out on root cause failure investigation,
inspection and repair activities performed during the unplanned plant shutdown.
Cooling Water Ingress to Ammonia Converter Catalysts: Successful Recovery and
is a fertilizer company in Indonesia that recently established a new
ammonia plant with a 2000 MTPD nameplate capacity commissioned in 2018. In
2020, the ammonia plant encountered an unscheduled shutdown due to an external
power failure that led to the syngas compressor turbine 103-JT overhaul. After
plant re-startup, it was found that the ammonia converter had been oxidated. It
was later discovered that this was caused by cooling water ingress during the
overhaul activities. This paper will explain how cooling water ingress happened
in 2020 and how we overcame this issue to continue the plant operation at
maximum load. The subject ammonia converter is horizontal type with 3 main
of reformer outlet systems
Integrity NZL Ltd.
presentation covers how various components of the hot outlet collection system change
and/or accumulate damage, particularly metallurgical changes that occur due to
operation at elevated temperatures and the effects of in-service loading. It is
important for operators to be aware of the metallurgical changes and damage
that can occur for the hot outlet collection system during operation as these
may not have been accounted for in the design.
There is a
need to understand the useful remaining life of these components to ensure
continued safe operation and reliability, especially for aging plants. One
aspect that the abstract highlights is around the difficulties operators face
when determining the fitness for service of manifolds due to limitations in
available/published materials data. Improvements that may be implemented to
ensure continued safe operation and reliability is generally mentioned in the
2. Digitalisation: Digital
Tools for Process Design, Production, Plant Monitoring and Operator Training. Climate
and Circularity Objectives
Condition Monitoring of Ammonia Plants
Industrial Solutions AG
The presentation will focus on new
digital solutions for efficient production, quick troubleshooting and high
An example of an ammonia plant in
the MENA region is used to describe the process of data gathering, processing
and report preparation. Electronic control systems are standard for the
operation of chemical plants. As a side effect these systems produce lots of
One thing they can be used for, is
to run a process simulation in parallel to the actual operation of the plant,
provided a mathematical model for the process in the plant exists and all
measurements for its input are available.
Another use is the statistical
evaluation of the historic data. For actual operation, optimization and
troubleshooting usually only the most recent data are necessary and are used by
Driving Operational Excellence at
Ammonia Plant through INSITE®
As a licensor of ammonia technology,
KBR has deployed a cloud-based, performance monitoring and advisory service
(KBR INSITE®) at several ammonia plants across the globe. One such successful
deployment is at PT Panca Amara Utama (PAU) which is located in the remote
island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.
PAU operates a KBR licensed Purifier
plus based Ammonia plant which was commissioned in 2018 and since then PAU and
KBR have collaborated closely and effectively through the INSITE program. The
overall goal, through this program, is to drive towards digitally enabled,
reliable and efficient operations to maximize the value of client’s assets
throughout the entire operating lifecycle.
and consistent onboarding of operators through Enhanced Reality technology
The process industry has been
blessed with an abundance of software and technology solutions that have
transformed the way assets are managed and maintained, using data to enable
predictive maintenance and other operational benefits. The industry faces
challenges of attracting and retaining skilled workers, dealing with the loss
of equipment and procedure knowledge from experts retiring or general employee
turnover, and upskilling workers quickly and effectively.
Digital twins have been part of this
successful asset intensive focus, yet most chemical and refining companies are
failing to utilize digital twins for building workforce competency more
efficiently and effectively.
Opportunities and limitations of
applying AI machine learning for optimization of syngas plants
The paper outlines the journey of a
large European fertilizer producer to enhance their daily operation routine
with AI optimization tools. Starting from one cloud-based solution to monitor
plant performance KPIs in real time to applying cutting-edge machine learning
models that enable operators to continuously optimize the plant operation.
Digitalization is transforming the
approach to daily process optimization in chemical manufacturing. While most
chemical producers recognize the benefits digital technologies can bring in
areas such as plant availability and process optimization, the pace of adoption
is still slower than in other industries and its implementation is a journey
for every plant.
A big barrier to successful digital projects
can often be finding the time or people to spare from day-to-day operations to
build and deploy the right solution. Many producers lack the in-house
data-science expertise to ensure both: a clear use case and the right solution
put in place to realize available technology to its full potential.
technologies supporting the pathway to develop green fertilizers
The European Union's ambitious
decarbonization plan, geared towards accelerating the transition while ensuring
supply security in Europe, can gain substantial support from recently
established fertilizer facilities powered by green hydrogen derived from
renewable energy and electrolyzers. These facilities have the capability to
produce green ammonia, which can then be utilized to produce nitrogen-based
Digital process twins provide a
virtual environment to test these interactions, informing better process
design, integration, and tools for real-time process optimization, aligning
with environmental and economic dynamics. This research showcases how digital
process twins can explore integration concepts within the green fertilizer
3. Green, Blue and Low
Addressing Challenges and
Dispelling Myths About Blue and Green Hydrogen and Ammonia
Engro Polymer & Chemicals Ltd
There are a number of challenges and
myths associated with blue and green hydrogen and ammonia. This paper will
discuss those and provide the facts and actions; and will provide a strategic
roadmap for the existing operators.
addresses the challenges faced by existing operators in transitioning to blue
and green hydrogen and ammonia production, showcasing the importance of
operational experience in navigating this transition.
While the concept of transitioning
to cleaner fuels like blue and green hydrogen is not new, the presentation contributes
novelty by providing practical guidance and insights specific to existing
The importance of tailoring
Carbon Capture design to optimize plant Capex and improve system
NextChem Tech SpA
The presentation will deep dive in
the necessity to reduce the environmental impact of industrial production sites
in the recent years through accelerated decarbonization strategies and the
possibility to install Post-Combustion Carbon Capture units in new or existing assets,
which has become one of the key elements to achieve the target to minimize
plants carbon footprint.
In the installation of such units,
it is possible to identify multiple technical solutions that would tailor the
implementation of the Carbon Capture unit by optimizing the number of equipment
and increase the system efficiency, minimizing the relevant OpEx.
Carbon H2 & N2 at large scale for NH3 production
The presentation will showcase Linde’s
building and operating its own complex which will include autothermal reforming
with carbon capture, plus a large air separation plant. The new complex will be
integrated into Linde’s extensive US Gulf Coast industrial gas infrastructure.
It will supply clean hydrogen and nitrogen to OCI’s 1.1 million ton per annum
blue ammonia plant, the ﬁrst greenﬁeld blue ammonia facility of this scale to
come onstream in the United States. Linde will supply OCI with clean hydrogen by
sequestering more than 1.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each
year. The project is expected to start up in 2025.This Setup can potentially
also be applied in other regions like the Middle East.
Blue Ammonia: A Strategic Approach to Upgrading Existing Ammonia
Energy Systems LLC
The transition towards a carbonless
future places ammonia at the forefront, serving as a carrier of hydrogen or a
clean fuel in its own right. This positioning offers ammonia producers a
limited timeframe to capitalize on the emerging lucrative market of premium
qualified ammonia products. While the establishment of grassroot projects for
blue and green ammonia entails extended schedules and high costs, the strategic
revamping of operational ammonia plants to produce blue ammonia presents a
compelling business case.
BDES proposes upgrading existing
ammonia facilities to produce blue ammonia, showcasing our understanding of the
operational aspects of ammonia production and optimization. The incorporation
of benchmarking, efficiency enhancements, and the introduction of various blue
technology features reflects our operational expertise in ammonia plants.
A novel Carbon Capture approach
based on Hot Potassium Carbonate for the Ammonia Industry
The CO2 Removal from syngas is an
essential and critical step in the production of ammonia, hydrogen, biofuel,
and SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel). The choice of CO2 removal technology
impacts the entire production process as it affects sustainability, costs,
consumption, layout, and the balance of the plant.
Furthermore, the fight against
climate change requires industrial sectors to minimize their carbon footprint.
In this regard, the role of carbon dioxide capture technologies becomes even
more crucial: the potential of CO2 Capture amounts to 120 MTPA for Blue
Ammonia, Blue Hydrogen products.
The presentation focuses on the
performance of CO2 capture systems from flue gas using HPC (Hot Potassium
Carbonate) solutions in terms of:
- Environmental impact, thanks to the use of inorganic-based solutions.
- Tailored Layouts, based on specific plant boundary conditions.
- Possibility to extract high-temperature heat from the process
The most efficient use of green hydrogen molecules in ammonia synthesis
The synthesis of ammonia is an
energy intensive process, consuming 2% of global energy production and
generating around 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions. The urgency to develop
decarbonised ammonia has never been greater with the intent of improving the
energy efficiency that is translated in lower operational pressure.
Johnson Matthey recognises these
challenges and has developed solutions helping to achieve decarbonised (green)
ammonia. Novel green ammonia synthesis processes driven exclusively by
renewable energy often consider ammonia synthesis at low pressure sometimes
using high activity ruthenium-based catalyst which are both sensitive and
expensive. However, recent studies performed by the University of Cambridge
shown that KATALCO™ 74-1 series as an iron-based catalyst with a cobalt
promoter can operate in regimes that could apply in such novel green processes
where pressures and temperatures may be lower than conventional processes.
Dynamic ammonia synthesis
Haldor Topsoe A/S
Fluctuating and variable renewable
source of energy adds a different dimension on the availability and flexibility
needs of a new grass root green ammonia plant. Due to the variability of
feedstock, traditional way of designing and operating an ammonia plant will
lead to a situation of unreferenced operating model with high variability which
can cause mechanical stress failures.
The dynamic ammonia technology is
new with a very novel flexibility and ramping rates, which are critical for the
green plants and solves very real operational problems for green plants
operating on fluctuating renewable power.
A Journey to a Future of Green Ammonia
Ammonia (NH3) is vital to support
the world population as a means of agricultural fertilizer. Recently, NH3 has also
been considered as favorable carbon-free H2 carrier. Having a high boiling
point of -33°C (at atmospheric pressure), NH3 can easily be liquefied compared
to natural gas (-160°C) and hydrogen (-253°C). Therefore, making liquefied NH3
less technically challenging to transport.
TEH2, a new joint-venture
established between TotalEnergies (TTE) and EREN Groupe, has secured large
private lands in the Magallanes region (South of Chile near the city of Punta
Arenas) that benefits from very good onshore wind conditions with access to the
Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. The high wind capacity factor in the area,
and the possibility of generating large-scale wind power (full field ~ 9-10 GW
installed capacity) offers the possibility for the production of green hydrogen.
4. Ammonia Shift Conversion
Catalysts and Plant Performance
Enhancing Reliability and
Performance in Ammonia Plant Operations: Managing Waste Heat Boiler Leaks and
The presentation provides a detailed
account of the operational challenges faced during the startup of an ammonia
plant. It discusses the issues encountered, such as the waste heat boiler
leakage, high CO slip and pressure drop in
the High Temperature Shift Converter, and the steps taken to successfully
resolve these issues.
It provides specific data such as
the pressure drop and CO slip percentages, which adds to the credibility and
objectivity of the information.
The presentation also demonstrates
how the solutions improved the performance and efficiency of the ammonia plant.
Reactivation of Shift Conversion
Catalyst which Undergoes Unprecedented Oxidation Due to Air Exposure &
PT Pupuk Kujang
The presentation examines ammonia
plant operational issues and troubleshooting. On March 18th 2023, Ammonia Plant
1A of PT Pupuk Kujang was operated at a rate of 100% before a sudden vacuum
system problem occurred and caused severe speed fluctuation in all compressors
especially the Syngas Compressor (103-J) experienced surging accompanied by
rapid increase of vibration.
A thorough inspection found several
damages including fracture of the feed preheater coil, leak of the 103-C tube,
and some of HTS & LTS catalyst was broken down into powder. These findings
indicate that HTS & LTS catalyst was exposed to air and submerged in Boiler
Feed Water that subsequently resulting an unprecedented overheating higher than
catalyst’s sintering temperature due to oxidation. Corrective maintenance was
carried out on damaged units without any replacement due to unavailability of
either catalyst or spare unit of the coil. This paper will demonstrate how the
feed preheat coil was repaired and how to reactivate HTS & LTS catalysts.
Thereafter, Ammonia Plant 1A is able to be operated at 100% rate with CO content
outlet LTS of slightly less than 0,3% and Methanator typically less than 0,25
KATALCO™ 71-7F most robust HTS catalyst ever!
The high temperature shift duty
within an ammonia plant can face operational stresses leading to reduced
performance, lower efficiencies and potential for unplanned shutdowns.
KATALCO 71-7F can demonstrate
improved robustness, its enhanced strength leads to a stronger pellet limiting
pressure drop increase across the catalyst bed.
The presentation will focus on the
development of KATALCO 71-7F, sharing experience from recent references, and
the value add demonstrated with highly stressed plants.