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THE PROCESS OF MANUFACTURE OF UREA IN A NAPHTHA BASED PLANT

Feb 15 2010 | Views 2180 | Comments (1) | Report Abuse Tags: manufacture of urea in a naphtha based plant After graduating as a Mechanical Engineer, I joined TELCO, Jamshedpur as a Graduate Trainee in 1958.Later I joined the public sector Fertilizer Corporation of India in 1969 as the Head of the Industrial Engineering Department in 1969 at Barauni.I was transferred to Namrup, Assam , on promotion as Chief Engineer, in 1980 where I served till my retirement. Although there are various types of fertilizers such as nitrogenous, phosphatic and potash called NPK, I would like to dwell on the manufacture of nitrogenous fertilizer called Urea, using liquid naphtha as the base, in this article . Urea manufacture may be through a coal based or naphtha based or gas based plant. Fertilizer technology is a complex subject.It is not easy to explain the detailed processes involved in a brief article like this..However, an attempt has been made in this article to explain the manufacture of Urea in the simplest form. The Ammonia plant of Fertilizer Plant of Barauni Unit, where I worked, was based on Steam Reforming of naphtha and was designed to produce 600 tonnes per day of liquid ammonia laid down in single stream.The design of the plant was supplied by M/s Monticatini Edison , Italy. The main sections for Ammonia production are ( i )Hydrofining,( ii )Steam Reforming, ( iii )Shift CO conversion, ( i v )CO2 removal ( v )Final purification, ( vi ) Ammonia synthesis, ( vii ) Recovery ,( viii ) Cracking, ( ix ) Inert Gas Generation, ( xii ) Liquefaction & Storage. Main raw material naphtha for Ammonia plant was supplied by IOC , Barauni. HYDROFINING As the virgin naphtha had high sulphur content, the Hydrofining process is used to bring down the sulphur content to 2 ppm by a suitable process in which the preheated mixture of vaporized naphtha and hydrogen rich washed purge gas is superheated and routed to the reactor where it flows over Cobalt Molybdenum catalyst. REFORMING Naphtha containing about 1 to 2 ppm of sulphur is mixed with hydrogen from the Synthesis Section , heated , evaporated and superheated to 420 degrees in the Process Naphtha Vaporizer. The mixture is sent to Final Desulphurizer where the last traces of organic sulphur is converted to H2S by reaction over COMOX catalyst and H2S is removed by an Absorbing Column containing ZnO. Susequently Naphtha vapors are mixed with steam and sent to Primary Reformer where the hydro carbons are completely transformed into mixture of H2, CO, CO2, CH4 and residual steam.The catalyst used in Steam Reforming usually contains 20 to 30 % Nickel Oxide on a refractory support.

SHIFT CONVERSION The process gas from steam reforming section is passed over Iron Oxide catalyst in the HT converter where CO reacts with steam to form CO2 and Hydrogen.A layer of Alumina balls are placed over the top catalyst bed with the aim of filtering any solid particles entering the gas to be treated and for the uniform distribution of gas through the catalyst bed. The gas leaving the HT converter is then cooled and sent to LT converter where the gas passes over Copper catalyst.The remaining CO is converted to CO2 in LT converter . CO2 REMOVAL The process gas after CO conversion section mainly consists of Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and CO2.So before sending the gas to Ammonia Synthesis Section, CO2 must be removed.There are various processes. Giammarco Vetrocoke process uses alkaline carbonate absorbing solution activated by Arsenic Trioxide ( AT). AT is the most efficient activator and it increases 10 to 20 times the efficiency of a simple potash solution.Another advantage of AT is that it protects the ferrous material from any corrosive action, so that Carbon Steel can be used as a material of construction. CO2 absorption takes place in a packed column consisting of two sections.A strongly regenerated solution is fed to the upper portion so as to obtain a very thorough purification of the gas. A partially regenerated solution enters the lower section.CO2 coming from the top is cooled before finally sent to Urea Plant. FINAL PURIFICATION CO and CO2 , though present in the synthesis gas in very little amount are catalyst poison in the Ammonia Convertor and has to be removed before sending the gas to the Synthesis Convertor.Hence , it is converted into methane by reacting with hydrogen over Nickel catalyst and the process is known as Methanation. AMMONIA SYNTHESIS( RECOVERY, LIQUIFACTION, CRACKING , INERT GAS GENERATION) Ammonia is produced by the catalyst reaction of Hydrogen and Nitrogen at elevated temperature and pressure. The catalyst used for Ammonia Synthesis is Iron Oxide promoted by Alumina.The synthesis gas consisting mainly of 3:1 Hydrogen and Nitrogen is compressed to a pressure of 250 ata in the synthesis gas compressor. The inert gas entering the system is purged .The Ammonia is condensed in purge gas compressor and separated in the purge gas Ammonia Separator and stored in Horton Sphere. WATER TREATMENT , DEMINERALIZED WATER ,AND STEAM GENERATION PLANTS Water Treatment and Ionization Plants supplied demineralized water to the Steam Generation Plant. POWER SUPPLY For uninterrupted production a stable supply of power was ensured from the nearby Thermal Power Station.

INSTRUMENTATION The various parameters like temperature, pressure, flow etc called for extensive instrumentation by incorporation of indicators, recorders, controllers, alarms etc at vital equipments UREA PLANT Urea plant at Barauni was based on the original Montecatini Edison Total Recycle Process.The plant consisted of two streams operating in parallel ,each stream having a capacity of 500 tennes per day with one Prilling Tower common for both.The total capacity of the plant was 1000 tonnes per day. The Total Recycle Process has the advantage of using inreacted Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide back to the synthesis reactor , thereby reducing the losses to the minimum. The Urea Plant operation can be sub divided in the following sections. ( i ) Urea synthesis by bringing together the principal feed streams of Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide in a reactor vessel. to facilitate formation of Ammonium Carbamate and its ultimate transformation to Urea. ( ii )Separation of Urea along with bulk of water formed during the reaction by decomposition and volatalization and unreacted excess ammonia and ammonium carbamate ( iii )Recovery of unreacted Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide and their recycle to reactor. ( iv ) Concentration of Urea solution and its subsequent prilling. Carbamate pumps compress the mixture of ammonia and CO2 and route it to the top of the prilling tower, which is a very tall structure.The air at high pressure is blown from the bottom of the prilling tower which contacts the carbamate to form fine prills of Urea. The product is stored in Silos from where it is sent for bagging in the Bagging Plant. It was my desire to share my experience with readers and hence this article. Hope the readers may find this technical article useful.

Good night, I'm Ana Isabel Marav, student of the National University of Engineer in Per, I'm taking a course at the university in which I have to prepare a project to produce ammonia from naphtha, I chose the KBR PURIFIER technology, it consists in a primary reformer, which I asume includes a furnarce in which the naphta will crack into lighter components, the problem I have is that I don't have the cracking reactions; actually, what I found on the internet are some reactions that are supossed to be the only ones that occure in the primary reformer, the following reactions are the ones I found: CnHm + nH2O = nCO + (2n+m/2)H2 CO + 3H2 = CH4 + H2O CO + H2O = CO2 + H2 2CO = CO2 + C I thought that the naphta cracking reactions were based in get lighter components little by tittle, I

mean, first maybe i get butane, then propane, ethane, and finally methane , am I correct? or the primary reformer has the capability to convert each component of the naphta into CO and H2 in a single step? , please this information is very important to me, I have to present this work in 2 weeks, and I hope to star the simulation on sunday, so I really appreciate your help, thank you very much. my e-mail is : anais_cmc@hotmail.com my partners and I are very thankfull