Optimization of an Ammonia Synthesis Converter


A scheme that optimizes the converter of an ammonia synthesis plant to determine optimal inlet temperatures of the catalyst beds has been developed. The optimizer maximizes an objective function—The fractional conversion of nitrogen on the four catalyst beds of the converter subject to variation of the inlet temperature to each catalyst bed. An iterative procedure was used to update the initial values of inlet temperature thus ensuring accurate results and quick convergence. Converter model results obtained with optimized operating conditions showed significant increase in fractional conversion of 42.38% (from 0.1949 to 0.2586), increased rate of reaction evident in a 13.18% (0.5317 to 0.4616) and 23.84% (0.1946 to 0.1482) reduction in reactants (hydrogen and nitrogen) concentration respectively and a 56.48% increase (from 0.1181 to 0.1838) in ammonia concentration at the end of the fourth catalyst bed compared to results obtained with industrial operating conditions.

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Akpa, J. and Raphael, N. (2014) Optimization of an Ammonia Synthesis Converter. World Journal of Engineering and Technology, 2, 305-313. doi: 10.4236/wjet.2014.24032.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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