Published November 1968
This report is concerned with the cost and technology of the manufacture of anhydrous ammonia. Two processes are evaluated in detail-ammonia by steam reforming of natural gas and ammonia by steam reforming of naphtha. Almost all new ammonia plants are using one of these processes. Since these two processes are extremely flexible and many modifications can be made to take advantage of existing plant operations, an effort was made to present the possible process modifications and future innovations that may be employed.
Much of the cost of producing ammonia is concerned with producing the hydrogen required in ammonia synthesis. Since the technology and costs of all the viable processes for producing hydrogen were presented in a previous report on hydrogen by the Process Economics Program, only a discussion and summary of these processes and their costs as related to ammonia plants are presented in this report. The utilization of new technology in ammonia plants has significantly reduced the capital and production costs associated with ammonia manufacture. The rapid implementation of this new technology has resulted in many process problems during construction, startup, and operation. These problems have been identified, and the solutions being used to overcome them are discussed.