Performance of a Small-Scale Haber Process

Michael H Reese, Cory Marquart, Mohammadmahdi Malmali, Kevin Wagner, Eric S Buchanan, Alon V McCormick, Edward L. Cussler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This work identifies a benchmark for the performance of a small-scale ammonia synthesis plant powered by wind energy. The energy used is stranded, far from urban centers but near locations of fertilizer demand. The wind energy drives the pressure swing absorption of air to make nitrogen and the electrolysis of water to make hydrogen. These are combined in the small-scale continuous Haber process to synthesize ammonia. The analysis of runs of the small plant presented in this article permits an assessment of how the current production rate is controlled by three resistances: catalytic reaction, ammonia separation by condensation, and recycling of unreacted gas. The measured catalytic reaction rates are consistent with separate experiments on chemical kinetics and with published reaction mechanisms. The condensation rates predicted are comparable with literature correlations. These rate constants now supply a rigorous strategy for optimizing this scaled-down, distributed ammonia plant. Moreover, this method of analysis is recommended for future small-scale, distributed manufacturing plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3742-3750
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume55
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2016

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Ammonia
Wind power
Condensation
Fertilizers
Electrolysis
Reaction kinetics
Reaction rates
Recycling
Hydrogen
Rate constants
Nitrogen
Gases
Water
Air
Experiments

Cite this

Performance of a Small-Scale Haber Process. / Reese, Michael H; Marquart, Cory; Malmali, Mohammadmahdi; Wagner, Kevin; Buchanan, Eric S; McCormick, Alon V; Cussler, Edward L.

In: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol. 55, No. 13, 20.04.2016, p. 3742-3750.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reese, Michael H ; Marquart, Cory ; Malmali, Mohammadmahdi ; Wagner, Kevin ; Buchanan, Eric S ; McCormick, Alon V ; Cussler, Edward L. / Performance of a Small-Scale Haber Process. In: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 2016 ; Vol. 55, No. 13. pp. 3742-3750.
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