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11.2. Commercial Examples

Coffeyville Resources Nitrogen Fertilizers Plant
This plant, located in Coffeyville, Kansas, produces ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizers. The plant is the only one in North America using a petroleum-coke based fertilizer production process (the petroleum coke, generated at an oil refinery next door to the plant, is gasified to produce hydrogen, from which ammonia and UAN fertilizers are subsequently synthesized). The plant produces about 5 percent of total UAN demand in the United States, and is located close to extensive fertilizer markets of the Midwest, lowering distribution costs of its products. In 2012, Coffeyville Resources Nitrogen Fertilizers produced 124,600 tons of ammonia available for sale, and also produced 643,800 tons of UAN1, using their 1,225 ton-per-day ammonia unit, 3,000 ton-per-day urea ammonium nitrate unit, and a dual-train gasifier complex having a capacity of 84 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen2.

Coffeyville Resources Nitrogen Plant
Coffeyville Resources Nitrogen Plant

The Coffeyville plant utilizes dual GE quench petcoke gasifiers (design capacity of 1,300 STPD) operating at a pressure of 620 psig (43 bar)3. An oxygen separation plant provides oxygen for the gasifiers, as well as nitrogen needed downstream for reaction with hydrogen to produce ammonia. Syngas is cleaned in a dual-stage acid gas removal process, separating H2S and CO2 in separate streams. Cleaned syngas is supplied to a Pressure Swing Absorption unit, separating pure hydrogen which is reacted with nitrogen in an ammonia plant. The facility has capability to process substantial amounts of the ammonia further into urea/ammonium nitrate fertilizer. The general process arrangement of the plant is depicted below.

Source: CVR Partners LC
Source: CVR Partners LC

Although the plant does not gasify coal, the process would be essentially the same for a coal feedstock, illustrating the potential for coal use in the United States to produce ammonia and ammonia-derived fertilizers.

CO2 Capture at Coffeyville 
In 2011, subsidiaries of Chaparral Energy and CVR Energy (the owner and operator of the Coffeyville plant) reached a CO2 purchase and sale agreement to capture CO2 from the plant, which Chaparral needs for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations in northeastern Oklahoma. Coffeyville Resources Nitrogen Fertilizers' plant produces approximately 850,000 tons of CO2 per year, some of which is diverted for urea synthesis, but most of which has previously been vented to the atmosphere. According to the new agreement, most (650,000 tpy) of the fertilizer plant's CO2 will be captured by Chaparral, who will construct a CO2 compression facility at the plant site and install approximately 70 miles of pipeline to deliver it to its North Burbank Unit in Osage County4. Chaparral Energy began CO2 injection operations in June 20135.

The SINOPEC Hubei Chemical Fertilizer Company is located on the Changjang River in the Hubei Province of China, adjacent to the city of Yichang. The plant has operated for 30 years producing more than 12 million tons of urea for use in agricultural production. Gasification was introduced to the plant after three years of construction with completion in December of 2006.

The SINOPEC Baling Company is located in Yueyang City of Hunan Province, China. This facility began using Shell's gasification technology in 2007 to produce chemical fertilizers.

The SINOPEC Anqing Company is located in Anqing City in Anhui Province, China. As a means to decrease urea production costs, Shell gasification technology was used to switch the raw material from oil to coal. This project was initiated in 2001, with construction beginning in 2004. Operation was commenced in late 2006.

Ube Ammonia Co., Ltd.
Ube Ammonia Co., Ltd. in Japan owns and operates a coal to ammonia plant which uses GE gasification technology (formerly Texaco). Production on the plant began in August 1984. When constructed, plant capacity was 350 tons of ammonia per day.

References/Further Reading

1. CVR Energy, CVR Partners, LP
2. CVR Partners' Fertilizer Plant Resumes Full Operations, CVR Partners LP, Aug. 2013
3. Coffeyville Resources, GE Energy
4. Carbon Sequestration Newsletter, April 2011 
5. Chaparral Energy begins CO2 injection at EOR project in North Burbank field, World Oil, July 2013



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