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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Foster, Russell J.
Nitrogen,   pp. 643-653 ff. PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 652

 The escalation of feedstock and fuel costs has hastened the development
of more efficient ammonia production processes. Retrofit units that improve
plant operation are based on better hydrocarbon conversion for ammonia synthesis
or recovery of useful components in the synthesis loop purge stream.77 
 The Indianapolis Center for Advanced Research claimed that ammonia production
yields can be increased by 20% with a new catalyst enhancement process. The
technique consists of vapor deposition of sodium, sodium carbonate, or sodium
hydride on commercial iron-based ammonia catalysts under controlled concentrations,
temperature, and pressure, to avoid decreasing active surface area or clogging
catalyst pores.78 
 PFR Engineering Systems, Inc., is designing a solar-powered primary reformer
for an ammonia plant of Valley Nitrogen Producers, Inc. A field of heliostats
will generate enough heat to raise the temperature of preheated process gas
in the reformer by 
400' F.79 
 Monsanto Co. has adapted hollow-fiber technology, previously used in reverse
osmosis water purification, to the separation of hydrogen from process or
waste gas streams. The system, composed of gaspermeable polysulfone hollow
fibers with a proprietary coating, is reportedly more energy efficient than
molecular sieve or cryogenic techniques.8° 
 Linde AG has developed a cryogenic process for the recovery of argon from
ammonia synthesis loop purge gas. About 14 tons of argon can be obtained
daily from a 1,000ton-per-day ammonia plant.8' 
 The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) conducted an ammonia-from-coal symposium
in May 1979. Discussion topics included future feedstock availability, coalgasification
process technology, operating experiences, and TVA's own retrofit plant.82
 The Charles F. Kettering Research Laboratory has developed a small-scale
fertilizer generator that utilizes electric arc technology to produce nitric
acid, which is reacted with limestone to produce calcium nitrate, or with
phosphate rock to yield a mixed nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer.83 
 A joint United States - United Kingdom study sponsored by government and
private industry was initiated to investigate the hazards involved in the
transportation and storage of ammonia, particularly to determine the dispersion
of ammonia spiiis on land and water.84 
 A process developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and approved by
EPA uses ammonia to prevent air-dried feed corn from spoiling. Ammonia is
introduced into the air flowing through feed corn in drying bins, thus suppressing
the growth of microorganisms and saving energy required by high-temperature
drying.85 Other recent developments in ammonia end uses include fracturing
some forms of oil shale with high organic content,86 and imparting satisfactory
permanent-press characteristics to allcotton fabrics.~~ In addition, urea
crystals have been used to efficiently convert lasergenerated visible light
to shorter wavelength ultraviolet light at room temperature.88 
 The "cold-fib converter," a new device for direct application
of ammonia
fertilizer, uses adiabatic expansion to cool pressurized liquid ammonia from
ambient temperature to the normal boiling point, and discharge it into the
soil at atmospheric pressure.89 
 1Physical scientist, Section of Nonmetallic Minerals. 
 23J*5* International Trade Commission. Anhydrous Ammonia From the U.S.S.R.
October 1979. 
 Chemical Marketing Reporter. Ammonia Import Quota Shelved As Carter Rejects
ITC Advice to Dilute OccidentalU.S.S.R. Pact. V. 216, No. 25, Dec. 17, 1979,
pp. 5, 19. 
 ' Chemical Week. Grace Plans Gasification Switch to Make Gasoline. V. 125,
No. 12, Sept. 19, 1979, p. 22. 
 ~ For CPI, More Plentiful Fuels. V. 123, No. 17, Oct. 25, 1978, p. 20. 
 Green Markets. Fertilizer Industry Anxious About Gas Proposals. V. 2, No.
51, Dec. 18, 1978, pp. 1, 10. 
 s—-. Ammonia Makers Blocked in Gas Quest. V.2, No. 13, Mar. 27,
pp. 1-2. 
 6Chemical Marketing Reporter. First Mississippi May Receive U.S. Approval
of Plan to Start Its Shut-Down Ammonia Plant. V. 216, No. 2, July 9, 1979,
pp. 7,24. 
 7Environmental Protection Agency. Best Conventional 
Pollutant Control Technology; Reasonableness of Existing 
Effluent Limitation Guidelines. Federal Register, v. 44, 
No. 169, Aug. 29, 1979, p. 50742. 
 s—-. Effluent Guidelines and Standards. Federal Register, v. 44,
31, Feb. 13, 1979, p. 9388. 
 9Chemical & Engineering News. Acrylonitrile Exposure Standard Set
2 Ppm. V. 56, No. 41, Oct. 9, 1978, p. 5. 
 ' °Green Markets. Green Markets Price-Scan. V. 2, No. 51, Dec. 18,
p. 5. 
 "Economics, Statistics, and Cooperative Service. U.S. Department of
1979 Fertilizer Situation. December 1978, pp. 9.11. 
 ' 2Green Markets. Green Markets Price-Scan. V. 3, No. 51, Dec. 22, 1979,
p. 4. 
 ' 3Economics, Statistics, and Cooperative Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture.
1980 Fertilizer Situation. December 1979, pp. 9-10. 
 14Nitrogen. How Much More Nitrogen in the Middle East? No. 114, July-August
1978, pp. 28-31. 
 "Fertilizer International. Plant & Project News. No. 108, June
p. 48. 
 ' 6European Chemical News. Kuwait, Bahrain Form Joint Ammonia, Methanol
Venture. V. 33, No. 906, Oct. 1, 1979, p. 8. 
 "Nitrogen. Plant and Project News. No. 120, JulyAu~ust 1979, p. 14.
 1 Chemical Week. Bangladesh Plans Fertilizer Complex. V. 122, No. 7, Feb.
15, 1978, p. 31. 
 19Fertilizer International. Plant & Project News. No. 
109, July 1978, p. 9. 
 ' °—--.-. Bolivia to Invite Bids for Nitrogen Project.
No. 107,
May 1978, p. 11. 
 "Chemical Week. Krupp-Koppers Will Build Big Ammonia-From-Coal Project
Brazil. V. 124, No. 12, Mar. 21, 1979, p. 38. 

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