CASE STUDY

Multiple Solutions for Critical Fertilizer Plant Analysis Needs

Opportunity

Within the Fertilizer Plant Processing and Manufacturing industry, companies use precious metal catalysts in the production of ammonia from natural gas feedstock. Moisture leaks developing in the boiler or heat exchanger tubes used in the ammonia reactor poison the catalyst, requiring replacement of the catalyst at costs in millions of US dollars. Continuous Emissions Monitoring (CEM) instrumentation is used to ensure that a moisture level below 500 ppb (0.5 ppm) is maintained, and, in addition, the purity of the ammonia end product is simultaneously monitored using the same equipment in the high percentage ranges (60-80% by volume). With a sample matrix that is very corrosive and the potential for leaks of lethal concentrations of gasses at high pressure and temperature, this process represents a significant monitoring point for companies in this industry.

Challenge

Montrose team members were contacted by a plant manufacturer and a group of plant owners within the Fertilizer Plant industry in the US and Trinidad and Tobago to install Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) CEM systems along the process chain on multiple lines to monitor and alarm on any deviations as well as to incorporate process feedback once the system was proven effective.

Solution

Montrose experts designed FTIR CEMs in NEMA enclosures, shipped them to the facilities for installation in the process instrument shelters, performed final hook up to the multi-line system to be monitored, and carried out the commissioning and validation procedures.  Addressing both the technical and logistical challenges that were presented, the team members created a best in class solution that optimized service intervals, reduced consumable usage, mitigated a significant pain-point for plant operators and improved end product quality.

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