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thyssenkrupp Uhde and Johnson Matthey increase ammonia synthesis capacity at Koch Fertilizer facility

Working in collaboration, thyssenkrupp Uhde and Johnson Matthey have delivered a product solution to increase the ammonia capacity at Koch Fertilizer’s Fort Dodge, Iowa (U.S.) facility. During the revamp of the existing ammonia plant, the team integrated the uhde dual-pressure process, which was installed upstream of the existing ammonia synthesis loop.

Koch Fertilizer, a leading fertilizer manufacturer and distributor, performed a $140-MM revamp at its Fort Dodge facility to further improve reliability, environmental and safety performance. The investment is expected to increase ammonia production capacity by 85,000 tpy.

To help achieve the additional capacity, process experts from thyssenkrupp Uhde developed a new cartridge insert for the existing pressure shell based on the latest design principles. Thanks to thorough scheduling, most of the installation work was done while the existing plant was running. Commissioning of the new uhde ammonia converter was smooth with Johnson Matthey onsite support and did not impact plant start-up time.

A key challenge was the very low ammonia synthesis operating pressure of only 960 psig/66 barg, which could be solved by combining Johnson Matthey’s high-performance catalyst KATALCOTM 74-1 with an adapted process design from thyssenkrupp Uhde. This joint solution enabled the increased ammonia synthesis capacity.

The same combination of the highly efficient uhde dual pressure process for ammonia production and KATALCOTM 74-1 catalyst from Johnson Matthey is already used in all the world’s largest ammonia plants operating with capacities of more than 1 MMtpy of ammonia.

Thore Lohmann, Executive Director Fertilizer & Methanol at thyssenkrupp Uhde said, “We have worked hand in hand with our customers and our partners at Johnson Matthey to make this happen. With our engineering and plant building expertise, we have ensured a smooth integration of the uhde dual pressure process. The same approach can be applied in many other plants as well.”

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