Recovering Energy in Ammonia Production

Ammonia-based fertilizers form the backbone of the modern agriculture industry, and their importance in helping to feed the world’s growing population cannot be overstated. It’s no surprise, then, that demand for ammonia is only expected to increase in the coming years.

The process starts with a hydrocarbon feedstock like coal or natural gas, and one of the byproducts of ammonia production is carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. In addition to contributing to global CO2 levels, ammonia production typically requires lots of energy. At Energy Recovery, we’ve dedicated ourselves to finding ways to reduce both the financial and environmental costs of making ammonia.

Adapting Proven Technology to New Industries

Our solution centers on the pressure energy that would otherwise be wasted as part of the production process—specifically, the part of production that removes CO2. This lost pressure costs the ammonia industry millions and plagues plants with massive inefficiencies.

We initially conceived of the IsoBoost solution as a way to apply our proven turbocharger technology from desalination, where we have thousands of devices installed, to oil and gas and chemicals. IsoBoost was first deployed in gas processing, and where the system has operated for years without failure and recently been ordered for what will be the largest gas processing plant in the Middle East.

With the technology deployed in the demanding oil and gas industry, we adapted it for CO2 removal in ammonia plants. This is the first turbocharger-based solution for energy recovery in ammonia production, and offers plants the ability to recover up to 80% of otherwise wasted pressure energy.

How IsoBoost Works

At the heart of the IsoBoost system is a turbocharger that requires dramatically less maintenance than current pumping configurations and lowers the risk of equipment failure. It works by capturing the typically wasted pressure in one liquid process flow and using that energy to boost the pressure in an adjacent flow.

Reduce Maintenance

IsoBoost lasts three times longer than a pump. Expect fewer breakdowns, and a big drop in maintenance costs.

Energy Savings

IsoBoost will save plants millions of dollars in energy, performing at up to 80 percent efficiency, and 25 percent more efficiently that traditional solutions.

Lower Carbon Footprint to Comply with Regulations

Reducing carbon footprint with IsoBoost can help plants comply with emissions regulations. IsoBoost can help plants meet standards set by current regulations, or reduce the risk that operations will be compromised by future regulatory standards.