Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), Kuwait is currently operating two Ammonia Plants and three Urea Plants for the manufacture of liquid ammonia and Urea granules. The total capacities of the respective Ammonia plants and Urea Plants are 1880 MTPD and 3150 MTPD. Ammonia Plants are based on M/s Haldor Topsoe technology and Urea Plants are based on Stamicarbon Stripping technology. The first Ammonia/Urea plants were commissioned in the year 1966. Over the years, PIC have installed additional ammonia and urea plants. In the year 1970, two ammonia and two Urea plants were added. With the installation of another ammonia plant in the year 1984, the production capacity of PIC's Ammonia and Urea complex became the biggest in the Middle East. PIC has always been very proactive in working with the community to meet or exceed all environmental requirements. The goal of the facility is to always be ahead of any mandatory requirements. Traditionally, the disposal of ammonia containing process gases from emergency relief systems (safety valves or rupture discs) in Urea plants has been done by discharging directly to atmosphere. This was the accepted practice for this type of facility, and continues to be the accepted practice at many locations around the world. Although direct discharge to atmosphere can be done in a safe way, it causes considerable pollution to the direct plant environment and surrounding areas. PIC as a socially responsible corporate citizen decided to eliminate ammonia pollution both inside and outside the PIC complex from such a discharge by implementing the “Zero Ammonia Emission Project”. To accomplish this task involved a major commitment on the part of PIC, in both man-hours and funding.
This task involved many aspects, including:
1. Design and implementation of a major collection system for the ammonia sources in the facility.
2. Review and analysis of the relief devices and sources in the facility to determine the impact of their relieving into a collection system in lieu of discharge to atmosphere.
3. Analysis of the possible relief scenarios to determine sizing of the relief system.
4. Analysis of the collection network for both hydraulic and mechanical considerations.
5. Determination of the appropriate technology for disposal or destruction of the captured ammonia vapors.
After thoroughly analyzing the pros and cons of various available alternatives for the disposal of NH3-CO2 mixtures, flaring was selected as the appropriate technology. The purpose of this paper is to review the history of ammonia and low btu gas flaring and the effectiveness of the same for the flare project design adopted for the PIC project.