The ammonia synthesis process uses syngas that is generated by the reforming of natural gas using steam. However, this steam-methane reforming reaction also produces a number of other compounds that do not contribute to the ammonia synthesis reaction. These gases need to be purged from the ammonia synloop in order to not build up in the product gas. After removal, the purge gases are generally fed back to the reformer furnace to be used as supplemental fuel gas.
A typical purge gas contains about 60%vol hydrogen, 20%vol nitrogen, 5%vol argon, 10%vol methane and 4%vol ammonia in varying concentrations, depending on the ammonia plant design. In lieu of burning the purge gases, valuable components in the purge gas such as ammonia, hydrogen, nitrogen and argon can be recovered, adding value to the return on investment. Since 1958, Linde has been engineering, constructing, delivering and commissioning purge gas recovery plants that are helping our customers to meet the rising competitive pressures through greater cost-efficiency. Building on our long-standing experience in the field, we have developed a wide portfolio of reliable, customizable solutions that allow operators to maximize the financial benefits of purge gas recovery.