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The first generation of the conventional total recycle urea process, also called the conventional process, was created in the late 1950’s and prevailing in the 1960’s, and was the main urea production technology of earlier Chinese industrialization. In China, Sichuan Lutianhua Company Ltd. introduced the conventional process urea technology from Stamicarbon, the Netherlands in the 1960’s.
In order to assure food security, in China the conventional urea plants of small and medium-scale size were twice constructed respectively during the 1960’s ~ 1970’s and 1980’s ~ 1990’s, both according foreign technologies. Due to the combined efforts of the technicians in China’s urea industry over 20 to 30 years, the plants have been technically modified and further developed. With the increasing refined technology, these plants have become modern versions of the conventional process with Chinese characteristics, being nowadays an important group of urea plants in China.
This paper covers the synthesis reactor and the development of Chinese knowledge regarding this important high pressure equipment item. A new reactor model is derived and its consequences for future developments in urea reactor technology is described.