Nitrogen Fertilizer Raw Materials
Different raw materials are used in various parts of the world for nitrogen fertilizer production. We can explain this situation with economic reasons. As a result, countries tend to realize this production with raw materials that they own or can buy cheaply. The raw materials that can be used for nitrogen fertilizer production are listed below.
1. Natural Gas
Natural gas is a mixture in the microscopic pores of the rocks. It consists of light hydrocarbons such as methane, ethane and propane. It is refined after it is brought to earth. In addition, it is the cleanest fossil fuel we can use in residential areas. Natural gas is one of the raw materials of ammonia which is a nitrogen fertilizer and also other nitrogen fertilizers produced from ammonia.
Naphtha is obtained during distillation of crude oil under atmospheric conditions. It is a flammable substance consisting of liquid hydrocarbons. It is used in ammonia production.
Pyrite can be the raw material of sulfuric acid which is used in the production of nitrogen fertilizers.
Coal can be used as a source of hydrogen in the production of ammonia.
5. Sulfuric Acid
Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral acid. It dissolves easily in water and creates high heat. Approximately 65% of the sulfuric acid produced in the world is used in the fertilizer industry (nitrogen and phosphorus).
Ammonia can be qualified as nitrogen fertilizer directly. It is also the raw material of many other nitrogenous fertilizers. In the past decades, coal or hydrocarbons have been used as an energy source in the production of ammonia.
Recently, most of the ammonia production is done using natural gas. Ammonia production can be briefly summarized as follows:
a) Obtaining hydrogen and nitrogen gases.
b) Purifying the obtained gases.
c) Synthesizing with the catalyst.
Hydrogen gas can be obtained from water, natural gas or coal. If the country to be produced is poor in terms of coal and natural gas, naphtha can be used. Nitrogen gas can be obtained from the air. Different inputs will directly affect the design and economic efficiency of the process.
7. Nitric Acid
Nitric acid is a basic raw material in the production of nitrate fertilizers. It is synthesized by dissolving nitrogen dioxide in water, which is obtained by oxidation of ammonia under high temperature and pressure.
For example, the most important product in terms of nitrogen fertilizer production worldwide, as well as the raw material, the annual production of ammonia is about 160 million tons. This production has spread to 66 countries. Therefore, the application of advanced process technologies in the sector has become mandatory in terms of global competition.
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