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UREA PLANT

Urea was first identified in 1773 when it was isolated from urine by crystallization and employing
a new total recycle process using directly concentration and pulling rate .
ABOUT:
Urea also called CARBAMIDE ,is an organic chemical compound and is essentially the waste product by
the body after metabolizing protein .Naturally the compound is produced when the liver breaks down
the protein or amino acids and ammonia ; the kidneys then transfer the urea from blood to urine . Extra
nitrogen is expelled from the body through the urea and because it is an extremely soluble ,it is a very
efficient process . The average person excretes about 30 grams of urea a day mostly through urine but a
small amount is also excreted in perspiration .Synthetic versions of the chemical compound can be
created in liquid or solid form and is often an ingredient found in fertilizers , animal feed ,and diuretics
just to name a few.
PROPERTIES :

Molecular formula : NH2-CO-NH2
Molar mass: 60.06 g /mol
Appearance : white solid
Density : 1.32 g/cm3
Melting point : 133-135C
107.9 g/100ml (20C)
Solubility in water: 167 g/100ml (40C)
251 g/100ml (60C)
400 g/100ml(80C)
Solubility: 50 g/l ethanol ,500 g/l glycerol(l)
ph of 10% solution: 7-9.5
Iron % by weight: 0.0002
PRODUCTION CAPACITY (urea plant):
1450 MTPD of Urea ;
Raw material: NH3 and CO2

Urea plant based upon Technimonts Total Solution Recycle Process using direct Concentrtion and
prilling route is laid in single stream .Its original design production capacity was 1000 MTPD of urea . In
Feb,2001 the urea plant was revamped by M/s Urea Casale,S.A. and its urea production capacity was
raised to 1450 MTPD .
Urea Plant Revamp:

In Feb ,2001 the urea plant was revamped to increase the production capacity fom 1000 MTPD to 1450
MTPD of urea using High Efficiency Combined(HEC) technology of M/s Urea Casale . In the revamp ,
major jobs included installation of : one new Once-Through Urea Reactor having 9 nos. High Efficiency
trays with Carbamate Condenser at its upstream , a new circular natural draft Prilling Tower (Prilling
Capacity =1750 MTPD ; Total height =104m; ID=22m; and Prill free fall height =80m; a Vaccum stage for
augmentation of CO2 gas (by 8200 Nm3/hr) in Rectisol Section- II (CO2 removal section)of Ammonia II
plant and one new CO2 compressor in urea plant. In the old urea reactor (total recycle type), 14 nos.
High Efficiency Trays were also fitted to increase urea conversion in it. Presently the new prilling tower
is the tallest prilling tower in the country . The general philosophy of the plant operation after the
revamp in normal and emergency conditions , has not been changed .
Salient features of Urea Plant:

S No. Description Old Reactor(Total
Recycle)
New Reactor(Once-
Through)
1 Urea production
Capacity(MTPD)
1050 600
2 Pressure(atm) 220 220
3 Temperature(C):bottom/top 187C/197C 192C/198C
4 Mole Ratio: NH3/CO2 2.9 3.1
5 Mole Ratio: H2O/CO2 0.7 0
6 Urea Conversion(%) w.r.t.
CO2
57 72
7 Rector details
1. MOC of Liner
SS-316 L (UG)
Cr/Ni/Mo/C(%)
2 RE 69
Cr/Ni/Mo/M(24-
26)/21/2.3

Urea group of plants(including sections) :
(1) Urea Plant
(2) Urea Hydrolyser Plant
(3) BFW(Boiler Feed Water) Plant
(4) Cooling Towers
(5) L.P. Ammonia Storage Section
(6) Cyanide Effluent Treatment Plant
(7) Bagging Plant
PROCESS SPECIFICATIONS :

The Urea manufacturing section can be divided into 4 sections :-
(1) Urea Synthesis Section :
Liquid NH3 and CO2 gas obtained from Ammonia II plant are pressurized upto 220 atm and fed in Old
Reactor (Total Recycle type) and New Reactor (Once-Through type) operating in parallel . The carbamate
solution from the urea separation is fed/recycled to only Old Reactor . The resultant Urea Carbamate
solution from both reactors contains about 36% urea ,unconverted carbamate , excess NH3 and water .
(2) Urea Separation Section:
It comprises of 3 decomposition and recovery stages operating at 70, 12, and 3 atm pressure
respectively where concentration of urea in urea carbamate solution is raised from 36% to 73%.
(3)Vaccum Concentration & Prilling section:
This includes 2 vaccum concentration stages operating at 0.35 and 0.04 atm pressure respectively for
increasing concentration of urea solution from 73% to about 99.7% urea melt. In prilling section , 99.7%
urea melt is prilled in a natural draft prilling tower to obtain solid urea prills as final product bottom.
(4)Ammonia Recovery Section:
Condenste from the two vaccum concentration stage contains urea and ammonia. It is treated in
rectification column working at 2 atm pressure and absorption column for recovery of ammonia
followed by its further treatment in retrofitted Urea Hydrolyser Plant and the recovered NH3 and CO2
are recycled to the process in the 3
rd
stage washing column C-3. The liquid effluent of Urea Plant(i.e,
from (Urea Hydrolyser Plant ) contains ammonia (50 ppm max.), Urea(100 ppm max.), and total nitrogen
(100 ppm max. as TKN)


PROCESS PRINCIPLES(THEORY) :

The formation of urea takes place as per following reactions :-
2NH3 + CO2 <== > NH2COONH4 + 37.64 Kcal/Mole .. (1)
(Ammonium Carbamate)
NH2COONH4 <==> NH2CONH2 + H2O -6.32 Kcal/Mole ..(2)
(Urea)
Reaction (1) is an exothermic reaction in nature and 37.64 Kcal/mole of heat is produced in the
formation of ammonium carbamate . Reaction (2) is an endothermic reaction and 6.32 Kcal/mole is
consumed in the DEHYDRATION of ammonium carbamate. If the ammonia is to be supplied in liquid
form and water that is formed in the reaction is to be separated by evaporation the net heat evolved
will be 11.4 kcal/mole.Thus it can be said that the urea process is a heat generating process. But in
actual practices the conversion is restricted by equilibrium conditions and cost optimization ; it requires
high level energy in the form of steam and electric power and low level heat to be removed by cooling
water , air,etc. Both the reactions are reversible and depend upon temperature , pressure and
residence time in reactor.
Formation of Ammonium Carbamate :
This exothermic reaction is slow at ambient conditions but almost instantaneous at 100 kg/cm2 at
150(C). At a particular pressure, the rate of reaction increases with temperature reaches a maximum
and then suddenly drops to zero value at a temperature corresponding to dissociation pressure
equalizing the working pressure .
The dissociation pressure of carabamate increases rapidly with temperature . It is 100 kg/cm2 at 200(C).
The dissociation pressure is considerably increased when an excess of CO2 is used . This dissociation
pressure is much less when an excess of ammonia is used . Thus to maintain a high rate of formation of
carbamate a high temperature is to be used and in turn a high pressure is to be used(Higher than
dissociation pressure).
The reaction of carbamate formation is exothermic , the heat must be removed in order to avoid the
increase of temperature beyond a particular limit where dissociation pressure becomes equal to that of
the working pressure.
Dehydration of Carbamate to Urea :
This is an equilibrium reaction and proceeds only in liquid or solid phase. From the various experiments
performed , it has been shown that conversion rate increases with temperature at a fixed Ammonia to
carbon dioxide ratio . At a fixed temperature the conversion rate increases with increase in ammonia to
carbon dioxide ratio
Water is one of the products of reaction during transformation of carbamate to urea . The presence of
water has a depressing effect on the conversion . Any water addition with the feed material reduces the
conversion .
The presence of water of reaction limits the concentration of the product to an aqueous solution
containing not more than 79.63% Urea by weight . All this water must be removed either by
crystalization or evaporation .
Extra water has an adverse effect on the conc. of Urea. First water takes up room in the reactor thereby
decreasing the capacity of production . Secondly extra water dilutes the Urea solution , increases the
load on recovery sections , increases the energy consumption and decreases the overall yield of Urea .
PROCESS DESCRIPTION :

Urea Plant is based on Technimonts New Total Solution Recycle Processes using the direct
concentration and prilling route. It is designed to produce 1000 Te. Of urea /day in a single stream .
(Capacity increased to 1450 MTPD after revamp.
Liquid ammonia from ammonia plant is taken directly taken into a high-pressure ammonia pump where
it is pressurized to 220 Kg/cm2, preheated to 80(C) and fed to the reactor . Carbon dioxide gas of 98.5%
purity , at 10 kg/cm2 pressure and 30(C) temperature from carbon dioxide purification section of
Ammonia Plant is compressed to 220 atm pressure in a 3-STAGE RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR and fed
to the reactor. Ammonia and carbon dioxide are synthesized in Urea reactor for production of Urea
according to pre-described reactions (1) and(2).
The product from the reactor containing 31.5% Urea , unconverted gases and water is led down to 70
kg/cm2 pressure in reactor outlet valve and taken to first stage.
First stage Separation :-
Here the solution is heated to 185(C) and flashed in 1
st
stage separator, gases get separated which are
condensed in 1
st
condensers to carbamate . Carbamate solution is pumped to the reactor after
pressurizing to 220 atm . Urea concentration in first stage separation goes upto 56%.
Second stage Separation :-
This solution containing 56% Urea is further let down to 12.5 kg/cm2 pressure and heated to 150(C),
flashed in 2
nd
stage separator . Gases separated in 2
nd
stage separator are condensed to carbamate in
2
nd
stage condenser. Carbamate solution from II stage condenser is recycled back to I stage condenser.
Urea concentration in 2
nd
stage separator goes upto 72%.
Third stage Separation :-
The decomposed gases are condensed in the 3
rd
stage condenser and pumped back to the second stage
from where it goes to the reactor via first stage.
First stage VACCUM Separation :-
This solution containing 72% Urea is led to vaccum concentration section via CANDLE TYPE UREA
FILTERS. Here in 1
st
stage vaccum distiller (located at the top of prilling tower), the solution is heated to
130(C)and flashed in 1
st
stage vaccum separator operating at a vaccum of 490 mm of Hg. Here the
concentration of urea goes upto 96% . the gases from I stage vaccum concentration section are
condensed in Heat exchanger HE-8.
Second stage VACCUM Separation :-
The solution containing 96% urea is heated in 2
nd
stage vaccum distiller to 140(C) and flashed in 2
nd
stage
vaccum separator operating at 700 mm of Hg. The concentration of urea here goes upto 99.6%of urea.
This solution is called UREA MELT and is sprayed through the nozzles from top of prilling tower to obtain
solid prills (or granules) of urea at the bottom of the prilling tower on product collecting belts and sent
to BAGGING PLANT by product conveyor belt for storage and bagging . The gases from II stage vaccum
concentration section are condensed in Heat exchanger HE -19.
APPLICATIONS OF UREA :

Most of the manufactured compound is used in FERTILIZERS; when nitrogen is added to urea , the
compound becomes water soluble , making it a highly desired ingredient for LAWN FERTILIZER.
The synthetic version is also used commercially and industrially to produce some types of plastics ,
animal feed , glues , toilet bowl cleaners, dish washing detergents, hair colouring products, pesticides
and fungicides .
Medicinally , it is used in BARBITURATES, dermatological products that rehydrate the skin and the
diuretics.
Physicians can use urea levels to detect diseases and disorders that affect the kidneys , such as
acute kidney failure or END-STAGE RENAL DISEASE(ESRD). The blood urea nitrogen(BUN) and the urine
urea nitrogen (UUN) tests , which measure urea nitrogen levels in the blood and urine , are often used
to assess how well a patient s kidneys are functioning .Increased or decreased levels of the compound,
however do not always indicate kidney problems , but instead may reflect dehydration or increased
protein intake.


(I) Dates of commissioning :

S No. Plant Date of
commissioning

1.
Urea 12.12.1997
2. Urea Revamp(Prilling
Tower)/commercial production
02.12.2000/01.02.2001
(II) Installed Capacity (annual) :

S No. Plant Annual Capacity
1. Urea(1450 MTPDx330 days) 478500 MT

(III) Investment :

S No. Plant Amount(period)
1. Urea Revamp Rs. 161 crore(1998-2001)
2. Pollution Control Measures Rs. 30 crore(1989-2004)
(IV) Quality of Urea plant :

S No. Description Urea Product
Quality
Required as per
FCO
Urea Product
Quality (Avg.) at
NFL, Nangal
1. Total N2 46.0%(Min.) 46.4%
2. Moisture 1.0%(Max.) 0.4%-0.5%
3. Biuret 1.5%(Max.) 0.8%-0.9%
4. Prill size 1. Under
size(<1mm)=10
%
2. Proper size
(1mm+2.8mm)=
80%
3. Over
size(>2.8mm)
=10%

1. ~1.4%
2. ~98.60%
3. Nil
4. Prill crushing strength
=500 600 gms per prill