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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Briggs, Ted C.
Nitrogen,   pp. 881-896 PDF (2.1 MB)


Page 882

882 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 Production of fixed nitrogen increased by 2% in 1972, but this percentage
should be viewed with caution since final production figures have, in general,
been revised upward at later dates. About 33,000 standard cubic feet of natural
gas was required to produce 1 ton of anhydrous ammonia; therefore, about
470 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas was used to produce synthetic
ammonia in 1972. The production of ammonia accounted for roughly 2% of the
domestic consumption of natural gas. Domestic ammonia plants produced at
about 84% of the total maximum domestic capacity, up from 81% of capacity
in 1971. All of the domestic plants combined will probably have difficulties
producing at a combined rate much over 90% of capacity. It can be seen, therefore,
that production moved toward effective capacity during 1972. The production
of elemental nitrogen jumped by 15% in 1972. 
 Farmland Industries, Inc., announced plans to build an ammonia plant near
Enid, Okla. Capacity was scheduled to be 380,000 tons per year when the plant
comes onstream in 1974, and natural gas feedstock for the plant was to be
supplied by Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. Mid-America Pipeline Co., Inc. (MAPCO)
planned to construct a 6-inch-diameter pipeline, 115 miles in length, from
the Farmland Industries plant to MAPCO's existing ammonia pipeline southwest
of Hutchinson, Kans. Farmland Industries also announced plans to construct
30,000-ton -ammonia storage terminals in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. Total
cost of the Farmland Industries project was expected to exceed $30 million.2
 CF Industries, Inc. was planning to build a 1,000-ton-per-day urea plant
at its Donaldsonville, La., nitrogen complex where the company now operates
two 1,000-ton-per-day ammonia plants. Also, the company planned to add regional
warehouses for urea at four locations, with a total capacity of 100,000 tons.
 Later in the year, property owners adjacent to the proposed urea plant location
took legal steps to enjoin construction of the plant on the basis of possible
noise from the plant, the visual appearance of the plant, and possible emissions.
No disposition of the dispute had been made at yearend.3 
 Shell Chemical Co. planned to drop out of the fertilizer production business
with the closures of its ammonia and nitrogen products plants at Ventura,
Calif., and St. Helens, Oreg. Reasons given for the closures were an oversupply
of ammonia, spiraling operating cost, technological obsolescence and small
production capacity of the plants, and shortage of natural gas feedstock.
Later, Shell reached a tentative agreement with Reichhold Chemicals, Inc.
for Reichhold to purchase the St. Helens, Oreg., facilities. Production capacity
at St. Helens was 80,000 tons per year of ammonia and 50,000 tons per year
of urea.4 
 Vicksburg Chemical Corp. planned to reopen the potassium nitrate plant formerly
owned and operated at Vicksburg, Miss., by American Metal Climax, Inc. (AMAX)
.5 
 Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., filed a legal action against United
Gas Pipe Line Co. Air Products was seeking a declaratory judgment limiting
the prices to be charged under a long-term natural gas supply contract. An
injunction was also being sought to assure continued natural gas service
while the matter was in litigation. United Gas supplied natural gas feedstock
to Air Products' Escambia, Fla., plant which produced ammonia, methanol,
and other industrial chemicals.6 
 American Cyanamid Co. discontinued its sales of high explosives, blasting
caps, and related products. Low profit margins, a declining market, and rising
cost of distribution and security were cited as reasons for the decision.
The company planned to continue to sell amnionium nitrate for agricultural
and blasting agent uses.7 
 ' Chemical Marketing Reporter. Ammonia by Pipeline Project Set by Mapco.
V. 201, No. 25, June 19, 1972, p. 4. 
 Farmland Industries Schedules NH, Facility. V. 201, No. 26, June 26, 1972,
p. 5. 
 ' Chemical Marketing Reporter. CF Industries Is Planning $65 Million Fertilizer
Project. V. 202, No. 5, July 31, 1972, p. 3. 
 Chemical Week. Urea: A Noisy Subject. V. 111, No. 23, Dec. 6, 1972, p. 16.
 4European Chemical News. Reichhold To Buy Shell N, Urea Units. V. 22, No.
553, Oct. 6, 1972, p. 6. - 
 Farm Chemicals & Croplife. News Report. V. 135, No. 6, June 1972, p.
40. 
 ' Chemical Week. Technology Newsletter. V. 111, No. 4, July 26, 1972, p.
59. 
 6 Marketing Reporter. Air Products Suing United On Gas For Methanol, NH3.
V. 202, No. 25, Dec. 18, 1972, p. 3. 
 Chemical Marketing Reporter. American Cyanainid Drops High Explosives Marketing.
V. 201, No. 16, Apr. 17, 1972, p. 16. 


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