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Thread: Haber Process Plant

  1. #1 Haber Process Plant 
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    What safety is taken into account in an Ammonia manufacturing plant (of the Haber process)? In what ways do the pressure (around 200atm), the temperature (around 400C) and the catalyst (iron) used relate to safety?

    The only factors I can think of is that a high pressure would be too stong for most vessels.
    A high temperature, for obvious reasons, is hazardous.


    Thank you


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  3. #2  
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    The temperature and pressure are well within material capabilty. why ,have you seen ammonia plants blowing up lately?


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  4. #3  
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    I'm sure the vessels are designed for the temperature and pressure, but that doesn't mean they don't pose a hazard. There is probably some nondestrucive testing that has to be done periodically on the weld joints. There could be things like flow accelerated corrosion or metal fatigue. Pressure relief would have to be provided and the toxic ammonia gas would have to be vented safely. I say this without really knowing anything about the process.
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  5. #4 Re: Haber Process Plant 
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    <Removed by moderator on account of inaccurate information>
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    William, if you insist that the formula of ammonia is NO<sub>2</sub> then I don't see any reason for us to put much trust in anything else you say. I will only allow accurate information backed up by hard evidence in this forum. So, your post doesn't have a place in this thread. If you must debate the point then PM me.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemboy
    William, if you insist that the formula of ammonia is NO<sub>2</sub> then I don't see any reason for us to put much trust in anything else you say. I will only allow accurate information backed up by hard evidence in this forum. So, your post doesn't have a place in this thread. If you must debate the point then PM me.

    Sad you never learned nitrogen does not bond with hydrogen. I did.

    It could mix. But it will not bond. And ammonia is bonded rather well, for any compound that has nitrogen in it. Nitrogen will bond with oxygen.

    Shame, hope you did not kill anyone by depriving them of information. I have seen some of the posts on this forum. And if you can sleep with the fact that the information I posted is crazier then the other posts here. And needed to be removed. God bless you because I do not see how.

    I would get honest with myself.


    You couldn't just make a note that you do not agree with it? Or that it is not in line with many others, that think a certain way? Or "the moderator warns you he does not recommend this post"?

    No, you had to do something wrong. You could not allow me to talk about my life. That is how out of control you are. And how unscientific you are.

    The part about hard evidence? Where are you going to get hard evidence. The Internet?
    I worked in the field. I know hands one what I am talking about. I used to secure chemicals when there was a fire at a site. Or when chemicals went ballistic in a laboratory, or storage facility.

    But you are going to insure hard evidence? I was trained by the best in the World. Standard HAZMAT training, you need to know it all. Even what they do not want you to know. Or it would be on the news, and it would save American lives.

    And how is anyone going to know what I said was crazy, if you do not let them see it? Again very unscientific. How dangerous is the truth to you?

    How much do you hate the words of George Washington?

    "Nothing deserves your utter most patronage more then the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness".

    If you wanted to knowledgeably knock apart what I am saying, to others. You would need what I am saying up there posted to do so.

    If you are calling me a liar or a fraud, that is something else. But you would leave what I said up there, and ridicule me if that was the case. No it is something else.

    It was crushing to you, you have little proof yourself and you do not wish to have the can of worms opened. What a moderator.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  8. #7  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    so tell me William, this website is totally wrong then ?

    and don't you think that, if you happen to be wrong, you might be endangering people's lives ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    so tell me William, this website is totally wrong then ?

    and don't you think that, if you happen to be wrong, you might be endangering people's lives ?
    The chemical analysis parts are definitely wrong in my opinion, and go against how I learned it, here on the Island. Long Island New York.

    It was not like the bulk of America here on the Island. We had stuff when I was a kid, that is just being introduced to the rest of America as something new now.

    Our schools used the Mallincrodt brand anhydrous ammonia and it was NO2 reagent grade. It was used in laboratories and it has helped to create the stuff we are using today.

    What is the basis for nitrogen bonding with hydrogen? Nitrogen is as close to the noble gases as it gets. If it were not for oxygen it would probably be inert.

    Ammonia burns grease or combines with grease like oxygen combines with gasoline. It does not evaporate it. Just like chlorinated products also combine with grease and actually chemically alter it, slowly chemically burning it.

    I tried to warn others, about ammonia's explosive potential. With small amounts of propane. Something you do not get to see printed anywhere. It was removed.

    As HAZMAT you have to know about it. I did. My instructor knew it better. And had a video of an actual accident.

    I know propane and natural gas pretty well. And I know how they explode, and their potential. Ammonia offers something that oxygen O2 and propane do not have.

    It is O1 a single atom of oxygen. It causes a different kind of bond then does O2.

    Sodium hydroxide vapor appears to also have similar properties when mixed with hydrogen gas, to the gas formed by ammonia and propane.

    A very powerful rather silent explosion is created by both gases. The sodium hydroxide gas can bend metal, almost silently. The ammonia and propane gas can hurl a human.

    This is a wild subject worthy of interest.





    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  10. #9  
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    funny that : other sites also point to NH3 as the structure for ammonia

    so the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory at Oxford University has its chemical and other safety information wrong ? or might it just be possible that you're wrong ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  11. #10  
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    main thing is that the vessel needs to withstand high pressures, in fact if you look at the equation a higher pressure would favour the yield.

    N2 + 3H2 <-----> 2NH3.

    using le chatielliers principle (i have never been able to spell that properly). increasing pressure forces the equilibrium position in favour of products.

    However the cost of manufacturing and maintaining vessels and process equipment at greater than 200atm is not offset by the small increase in yield.
    everything is mathematical.
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  12. #11  
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    William, give us a good reason to believe you. Right now we do not have one so you cannot expect us to.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemboy
    William, give us a good reason to believe you. Right now we do not have one so you cannot expect us to.
    Nitrogen is almost inert. It cannot combine with hydrogen to form a compound. It can form a mixture, but not a compound.

    For years in my area Ammonia was listed as NO2. Then it changed very quickly in the early nineties. No general announcement about it.

    Nitrogen in its natural Siamese N2 bond will easily separate in an electric arc, and then release a good deal of heat. By creating a plasma.

    Pure nitrogen is a better plasma cutting gas then air. It is better then oxygen.

    Only helium, and hydrogen are better to my knowledge. Argon, and Neon may work too, however I have never tried them as a plasma cutting gas.

    What is my point? If nitrogen was bonded to hydrogen as NH3, it would release the hydrogen if subjected to electric arc.

    Ammonia is actually a pretty stable substance in an electric arc. It is a substance that is often formed by many different methods and substances in an electric arc. No amounts of hydrogen are emitted that would explain ammonia's formula.

    Anhydrous ammonia is dangerous in contact with aromatic hydrocarbons. That makes no sense according to its formula, and no one can explain that. Therefore it is just another basic in chemistry that is being tucked away to avoid embarrassment. HAZMAT has to know this. Or more individuals that handle the substance will get hurt.

    I was trained by the best in the country at the time, when I did this everyday. Even though we thought New York HAZMAT was the best. Ha-ha.

    I was joking about this lame video the trainer, said we had to watch about suiting up for an ammonia spill. The fellow hit me on the back of the head. And said "pay attention you are going to see something you never saw before". And he was right.

    Although my pop warned me about a very rare accident that occurred on a farm involving ammonia. And that ammonia can combine with the fumes of rotting food or flesh. And create an almost silent explosive that can hurl humans or animals, at great speeds. I had always just thought "yea if I smell ammonia on a farm I will be careful". Ha-ha.

    But as we were watching the video, a video of three guys, one with a camera, suited up to clean up a standard anhydrous ammonia spill.
    As the fellow who was ordered to move the forklift out of the spill, started the forklift. The camera man about fifteen feet away dropped the camera.
    Picked it up calmly and said calmly "What was that"? As he panned the camera around the room, it showed that the third man had been blown through a cinder block wall, four feet in front of him. The man on the forklift was unaffected. At that point the camera man was noticably not interested in filming and shut off the camera.

    The small amount of propane that was present in the forklifts intake manifold and carburetor was enough to cause this strange type of explosion. A rather silent explosion. That positively accelerated a man in four feet, to a speed necessary to penetrate a cinder block wall.

    Considering here by me, we learned studied and used ammonia as NO2 all my life. This did not seem at all strange or odd to me.
    I do understand it is coming across as unbelievable to you though. But what would you have me do. If you have a real or helpful explanation, I would welcome it.

    But to be honest, I am comfortable with my reality, and I do not need an explanation. I would like to get chemistry in order, so we can all benefit from an industry that, was always known for its amazing accuracy and exacting procedures, again.

    Ammonia is a funny chemical. By 1829 or 1849 using the weight of the elements, in a chemical compound, to determine its formula, they deduced that the formula for ammonia was NH3. Then after it went into use in refrigeration, accidents occurred. They stopped labeling ammonia with a chemical formula for many years. As almost every chemical had a formula listed next to it. Ammonia went by only its name, for many years.

    Then probably by mandatory labeling regulations, they started to call it NH3. But in my area, in the sixties, we used Mallincrodt Ammonia. And it was labeled NO2.

    And this is how we learned it in school. Some household cleaning ammonia was labeled NO2 as late as, 1992, but was purchased previously. That is the last bottle I ever saw labeled NO2, it was my grandmothers bottle of household ammonia.

    I removed a lot of chemicals from the public and private schools here on the island, all in one summer. It had to do with EPA compliancy of some kind I believe. All of the bottles were Mallincrodt Ammonia, and labeled NO2.

    The gas from anhydrous ammonia when mixing with air, does turn brown. However not in the bottle, if the bottle is exhausting pure anhydrous ammonia vapor.

    I used to drive Hazardous Tank, and I have hauled a mighty mix of substances. Some really wild stuff.
    Part of our training was to learn to plug, or ignite propane trucks. If you do not know when to light a propane truck on fire with a road flare. You can accidentally cause the destruction of a square mile of buildings, if the gas is allowed to totally mix with air.

    It is better to ignite the tanker if you do not have insulated gloves or a wooden stake, to work with while plugging. If you have a short stake, in a plug kit, and no gloves, because of the extreme cold of the fluid in the tanker you may not be able to handle the stake with bare hands.

    Plugging is best if you are prepared. You could even use a long tree branch, as a plug and use another branch as a hammer. You only have seconds to plug a four inch hole. Before the situation starts to threaten the safety of the community. At that point you have to ignite the tanker by throwing a road flare.

    I have talked to some in positions of responsibility, today, I am sure that many no longer know about lighting leaking propane tankers on fire for safety.

    I used to use an NOS brand Nitrous Oxide System. At the time the bottles were labeled NO4. I used to fill my own bottles. I would put the empty bottle in the freezer over night, the next day, when cold, it would suck in liquid from the warm supply bottle of nitrous oxide.

    NOS used to stand for "Not Otherwise Specified".

    Years ago many extinguishers were nitrogen, N2, extinguishers used to put out fires. I used the nitrous oxide for its oxygen content. I somehow doubt that the formula that is accepted today for nitrous oxide N2O, would give me a heck of a lot of oxygen. It would only have slightly more oxygen then the air. And inject mostly N2 an extinguisher of flame.

    I was taught that nitric acid was NO3
    And ammonium nitrate was NO5

    I would love to hear why this is not so. If I am wrong I will change and apologize.

    Try to understand I always took a pleasant calm moment, after reading chemical books written in other places stating ammonia was NH3. That our ammonia was still NO2.
    I thought anyone from somewhere else had to be strange. We had every thing you could think of working just fine. I admit the government was quick to silence praise for our area. But much of what we did here was known. And made public.

    It never seemed like anyone cared about science, chemistry or math to me.

    Check out this. It is just some history on how they made the deductions you still use today. Some I still use today as well.

    http://www.Rockwelder.com/Chemicals/Nitrogen1849.PDF

    We know CO2 will also put out a fire like ammonia does. However we also know we can remove the oxygen and burn the carbon again from the CO2.

    I see no evidence that ammonia is NH3. However I have found evidence that with time ammonia can give up oxygen to aromatic hydrocarbons.




    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  14. #13 Re: Haber Process Plant 
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    Quote Originally Posted by emetzner
    What safety is taken into account in an Ammonia manufacturing plant (of the Haber process)? In what ways do the pressure (around 200atm), the temperature (around 400C) and the catalyst (iron) used relate to safety?

    The only factors I can think of is that a high pressure would be too stong for most vessels.
    A high temperature, for obvious reasons, is hazardous.


    Thank you
    Just to expand a little on what others have written, there are design codes for pressure vessels that ensure they can withstand the pressure and temperature with a substantial safety factor. In the USA the vessel would most likely be designed to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII Division 1 or Division 2 which evolved from attempts to prevent boiler explosions. Div. 1 has simplified rules with a larger safety factor. Div. 2 has more rigorous rules including fatigue analysis, and a smaller safety factor. Div. 2 would probably be used for 200bar because it would allow the use of thinner materials, thus would cheaper, but still safe.

    The Code also covers the requirements for pressure relief valves which blow off vapor in the event of overpressure. Ammonia and/or hydrogen would presumably be discharged to a flare stack or incinerator where it would be safely burned.

    There will also be be corrosion issues that would govern the selection of materials.
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  15. #14  
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    Well William, the vast majority of scientists in the world take ammonia to be NH<sub>3</sub> so it will not be disputed in this forum. If you know everyone else is wrong and they won't listen to you then I guess you'll just have to deal with it and be content that you know the truth. The original poster deserves to have a thread that's dedicated to the discussion of their original question and any further posts containing inaccurate information in this thread will be deleted without notice.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemboy
    Well William, the vast majority of scientists in the world take ammonia to be NH<sub>3</sub> so it will not be disputed in this forum. If you know everyone else is wrong and they won't listen to you then I guess you'll just have to deal with it and be content that you know the truth. The original poster deserves to have a thread that's dedicated to the discussion of their original question and any further posts containing inaccurate information in this thread will be deleted without notice.
    I totally understand that you should not just change a chemical formula, because you believe that is what it is. I did not suggest that.

    I am just offering something that might make a safer Haber plant if there is any validity to my rantings.

    I am not suggesting secretly accepting my views. However if you are designing a plant or testing a plant. Or working with ammonia. You should at least consider what many HAZMAT personal have been taught about ammonia and aromatic hydrocarbons. Just as a unnecessary precaution to prove me wrong.

    A lot of nickle alloys handle extreme heat and pressures. Inconells have steel in them as well, however they are very high nickle and chrome alloys, that stand up to extreme heat and pressures.

    There are metals like Hasteloy-X and its cousins that have had success in high temperature high pressure highly corrosive atmospheres.

    3000 psi is actually considered low pressure today. Today high pressure is 6000 psi.

    I consider both high pressure myself. Because I am aware of the extreme danger of 3000 psi pressure vessels. Most do not know, however when you open the valve of a 3000 psi tank. If the chamber that is being pressurized is large enough and allows enough cubic inches of air into the chamber, to be compressed, the temperatures can exceed the maximum temperature the metal is designed for. Or the air can take. The small chamber being pressurized becomes a condenser, and can even melt the metal. Or plasma the gas.

    High pressure solenoid valves often melt and fuse. Even under ideal situations the valve can appear to be electrically burned. I can get you evidence of this.

    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  17. #16  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    For years in my area Ammonia was listed as NO2. Then it changed very quickly in the early nineties. No general announcement about it.
    so what's your source for this - hopefully this isn't a misprint in a textbook that somehow slipped through the proof editor's net ?
    obviously there wouldn't be a general announcement about an embarrassing misprint

    have a trawl through any chemistry book and website that claims to be authoritative and you'll find NH3, not NO2, for the structure of ammonia
    now i know that science isn't a democracy, but if 99.9% of sources say you're wrong, don't you think they may have a point ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  18. #17 McCormick 
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    <Comment removed by mod. If you're going to criticize please at least make it constructive, insults won't get us anywhere.>
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