CO content at reactor inlet ammonia synthesis

Forums Process & Operational Ammonia CO content at reactor inlet ammonia synthesis

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    Good afternoon, dear friends

    This is to consult the conditions that favor the poisoning or deactivation of the ammonia synthesis catalyst by the presence of CO, what minimum concentration begins to generate catalyst deactivation and how would it be done to verify that the deactivation is reversible or irreversible?

    The consultation arises because at the entrance of the Ammonia synthesis rector, high CO content was found due to the presence of broken tubes in the gas-gas exchanger in the methanation section, the heat exchanger has the function of increasing the inlet temperature to the methanator with the methanator outlet, and, as the inlet has higher pressure than the outlet, it contaminates the methanator outlet and therefore increases the CO content at the entrance of the Ammonia rector. By means of analysis it was found that the content reached 100 ppm, however, at that time the rector was out of service and therefore did not enter more than 100 ppm, however, the chromatograph that analyzes the CO content has a minimum reading of 100 ppm, that is, below 100 ppm it does not read it and therefore it is presumed that the leak was progressive and entered the reactor with values greater than 10 ppm for an extended period of time, decreasing the activity and therefore the ammonia production decreased from 1000 tons/day to 450 tons/day at a rate of approximately 60%. I hope you can help me.

    Best regards.


    Hi Luis, Oxygen poisoning is quite reversible and my experience with massive H2O poisoning that required an extended period of start-up heater operation was that almost all activity was regained BUT there are changes to the catalyst crystalline structure
    that can be seen as an opinion like layer. I don’t know if that weakens the granules a little bit, or not.


    Buenas noches. Muchas gracias por tu respuesta.

    Si, gracias a Dios fue reversible el envenenamiento. Recuperamos la actividad catalítica en un 91%. La producción incrementó desde 286 TM/día a 1340 ton/día a una carga de 86%.

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