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Processes 2018, 6(7), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6070091

Modeling and Optimal Design of Absorbent Enhanced Ammonia Synthesis

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 5405, USA
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Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 10 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract

Synthetic ammonia produced from fossil fuels is essential for agriculture. However, the emissions-intensive nature of the Haber–Bosch process, as well as a depleting supply of these fossil fuels have motivated the production of ammonia using renewable sources of energy. Small-scale, distributed processes may better enable the use of renewables, but also result in a loss of economies of scale, so the high capital cost of the Haber–Bosch process may inhibit this paradigm shift. A process that operates at lower pressure and uses absorption rather than condensation to remove ammonia from unreacted nitrogen and hydrogen has been proposed as an alternative. In this work, a dynamic model of this absorbent-enhanced process is proposed and implemented in gPROMS ModelBuilder. This dynamic model is used to determine optimal designs of this process that minimize the 20-year net present cost at small scales of 100 kg/h to 10,000 kg/h when powered by wind energy. The capital cost of this process scales with a 0.77 capacity exponent, and at production scales below 6075 kg/h, it is less expensive than the conventional Haber–Bosch process. View Full-Text
Keywords: ammonia synthesis; dynamic modeling; design optimization ammonia synthesis; dynamic modeling; design optimization
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Palys, M.J.; McCormick, A.; Cussler, E.L.; Daoutidis, P. Modeling and Optimal Design of Absorbent Enhanced Ammonia Synthesis. Processes 2018, 6, 91.

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