We recommend a vacuum based leak detection system for several reasons:
Reason #1: No risk of liner bulging
A first reason is that when using a vacuum system there will be no risk for liner bulging and damage due a to too high pressure in the leak detection system behind the liner. Be aware that the relatively large liner compartments are welded to the carbon steel pressure bearing wall. These large areas allow only a very limited pressure difference between each side of the liner.
Some vendors try to avoid this risk of bulging by switching off the leak detection system when the pressure in the synthesis section is below a certain value. In our view this is not a good solution because...
2020 will probably always be a special year for all of us; the whole world has been surprised by a pandemic! In 2020 many things were not possible anymore but also many new opportunities arise. We hope 2020 was in some way also fruitful to you.
We thank all Sponsors for supporting UreaKnowHow.com, which mission is to increase Safety and Performance of all nitrogen fertilizer plants worldwide.
We thank you for all your support and valuable co-operation !
We wish You, Your Family, Your Colleagues and Friends a Safe, Healthy and Wonderful 2021 !
Jo Eijkenboom / Mark Brouwer
High pressure urea equipment consist of a heavy carbon steel pressure bearing wall, which is protected against corrosion by a thin corrosion resistant layer; this layer is in the most cases made out of stainless steel or a duplex. This protective layer can be an overlay welding, an explosive cladded layer but is in most cases a loose liner.
Any leak in a loose liner will lead to a dangerous situation because a potentially corrosive fluid can be spread and trapped in the gap between the carbon steel pressure bearing wall and the loose liner. This area will then be exposed to the extremely corrosive ammonium-carbamate.
Real situations have proven that ammonium-carbamate can corrode carbon steels with very high corrosion rates up to 1,000 mm (40 inch) per year. But also stainless steels will show accelerated corrosion because of lack of oxygen. That means that it is an absolute must to have a detection system present that already warns for al leak in an early stage. Then one can only conclude that an active leak detection system is required...
Without water no corrosion.
Jan van der Werf died peacefully Monday morning November 30, 2020 at an age of 76 in his hometown Sittard-Geleen.
With a career of 55 years at Stamicarbon, Jan was enjoying his work with whole his heart. Jan did know where he was talking about, he knew what was urea as he was involved in numerous commissioning and start-up projects. Jan started up one of the first CO2 stripping plants under difficult circumstances in the former DDR, the first PoolCondenser plant in Bangladesh and left his footprint in many other countries like North Korea, Thailand, Romania, USSR, Japan, USA, Myanmar, China, Mexico and Alaska. Jan also worked at several high level management positions in Stamicarbon, always pushing forward innovations and breakthroughs in our industry; amongst many others Safurex® and Full Life Cycle support.
Everywhere we came, people asked how Jan was doing. Jan was open, friendly, flexible and always in a good mood, Jan was really a great manager and colleague, with both feet on the ground, one between his colleagues, his door was always open, Jan was always striving for cooperation and teambuilding. We and we believe many other colleagues owe Jan a lot. Jan was always in to discuss technical issues, strategical topics and life in general, preferably with a pint of beer.
Jan, we will miss you.
We send condolences to Wilma, Guido and Petra and the entire van der Werf family.
In a passive leak detection system an indication of a leak in the liner only shows up when the leak emerges from the leak detection hole. Or, in case the leak detection hole is connected via tubing to for example a bottle with a phenolphthalein solution, when the colour of the liquid in the bottle changes. The detection occurs at a later moment then when the leak occurs in the liner. Time passes (dwell time) between the moment the leak occurred and the moment the leak emerges at the leak detector or when a field operator notifies the leak. The latter case is even worse as the dwell time can be much larger. During that dwell time the risk that the leak detection path gets clogged is realistic. That means that there will be a serious threat to the integrity of the carbon steel pressure bearing wall... Click here to Read more.
AMMO LASER Leak Detection System -
The #1 Safety Measure with a Guaranteed Pay Back
We are pleased to inform you about all the details via our Frequently Asked Questions
Question #2: When does one need a proper Leak Detection System ?
Click here for the answer
“Highest Safety and Reliability Standards ; Minimum Maintenance and Repair Efforts”
The heart of every urea plant is the urea reactor. The high pressures, high temperatures and the presence of very corrosive ammonium carbamate puts high demands on its reliability and safety during its typical lifetime of 40-50 years. UreaKnowHow.com has established a Urea Incident Database containing numerous serious incidents with urea reactors and a Urea Reactor Risk Register containing fifty risks and failure modes of a traditional design urea reactor.
Based on the above information plus by applying our extensive experience and knowledge, we can offer you the complete detailed design specification of a State-of-The-Art Urea Reactor with optimum design details of the carbon steel pressure bearing wall, the protective layers and all the internals. This will realise the highest reliability and safety standards and minimize maintenance and repair efforts.
We make visible the invisible hazard. Stepping back is essential to overview.
Remote monitoring provides maximum coverage day and night.
Broaden your view. Get the Grandperspective.
Grandperspective is a solution provider for industrial monitoring of gas leaks and gas detection, based in Berlin, Germany. We provide Early Warning Monitoring Solutions for the fertilizer, ammonia urea, and petrochemical industry.
Our team of experts designs innovative Remote Monitoring solutions, that combine of high-tech hardware and intelligent software. Our spectroscopic monitoring technology identifies, locates, and tracks moving gas clouds at up to 4 km distance to cover large terrains, on the ground and for the airspace above. We identify and quantify from large distances hundreds of hazardous gases, including: Ammonia, Natural Gas, Methanol, CO and N2O.
Revolutionizing Separation & Scrubbing Solutions
“SDSμ Separators and SDSμ Scrubbers revolutionize industrial filtration … replacing bulky, inefficient scrubbers, cyclones and separation vessels.”
“SDSμ Separators and SDSμ Scrubbers reduce Total Cost of Ownership (CAPEX and OPEX, no consumables & negligible maintenance).”
SDS Separation BV, a Dutch Process Technology Company focuses on the design, engineering and manufacturing of Dutch innovative separation and scrubbing solutions for the energy and process industries worldwide.
Our team is currently based in Europe and North-East Asia. Our expertise, know-how and IP-protected solutions deliver customers: Increased Production Rate, Higher Efficiencies, Less Fouling, Lower Emissions, Lean Designs and Short Pay Back Times.
Interested to learn more, click here
Clogging in the leak detection system is by far the most serious risk to cause high corrosion rates of the carbon steel pressure bearing wall of high pressure urea equipment. A state of the art leak detection system should safeguard first and for all warn before clogging occurs. Key words to avoid the aforementioned situations are early detection and high reliability.
This is the reason that passive leak detection systems, where one waits for the leak to show up at the analyzer are unsafe and not acceptable anymore today. This has been proven through trial and error in numerous incidents, for example Urea Incident 18-005 (FIORDA Urea Case #5).
The next question is: What are the requirements for a state of the art active and reliable leak detection system?
Find the Risk Register of a Leak Detection System including the lessons learned from related incidents via the following link: Risk Register Leak Detection System.pdf
Fluitec, a world leader in intelligent maintenance and lubrication
Industry Leader in Fluid Life Extension Technologies
Transform your fluids into assets: Fluitec is the innovator to Measure, Consult, and Treat industrial fluids to maximize their life.
Fertilizer industry solutions for reducing downtime, extending equipment life and maintenance intervals for large rotating equipment. Read the whitepaper.
Condition monitoring the health of industrial fluids to protect asset-functionality.
Expanding knowledge with Consultative Services, Support & Training, and leadership in the implementation of industry-wide standards & uniform protocols.
Enhancement technologies to improve product reliability, productivity and sustainability
After establishing the largest Urea Incident Database with 130+ incidents, now UreaKnowHow.com starts up a UAN Incident Database. UAN seems a safe, non hazardous, colourless liquid but several serious hazards and risks are to considered when designing, operating and maintaining UAN plants. Experience has proven that HAZOPs only do not provide sufficient assurance that all risks are properly take care (background reference). Learning lessons from earlier incidents is in our opinion a very effective way to increase safety and reliability of your plant. Click here to go to our UAN Incident Database
Gexcon is a world-leading company in the field of safety and risk management and advanced dispersion, explosion and fire modelling.
Our experience arises from detailed knowledge of explosion phenomena built up through years of extensive research projects, carrying out safety assessments, performing accident investigations and conducting physical testing at the company’s facilities. Headquartered in Bergen, Norway, Gexcon has offices in Australia (Perth), China (Shanghai), France (Paris), India (Pune and Mumbai), Indonesia (Jakarta), the Netherlands (Utrecht), Sweden (Borås), the UAE (Dubai), the UK (Manchester) and USA (Houston, Bethesda, and Boston). Our team of experienced engineers and specialists can assist in identifying hazards, understanding risks and contribute to improving your company’s overall safety performance. We believe in a tailor-made and individual approach for each client, and by working together, we will find the most optimal process to identify the company’s needs to manage your most critical risks. Due to our commitment and passion within process safety and risk management,... Click here to read more
Urea incident databases and risk registers clearly prove the need for a proper leak detection system for loose liners of high-pressure urea equipment as the #1 Safeguard for Any Urea Plant. UreaKnowHow.com and KeyTech Engineering Company have developed an active vacuum-based leak detection system with the most accurate and reliable ammonia analyzer: The AMMO LASER Leak Detection System. This leak detection system is the most reliable leak detection system over all existing leak detection systems in operation so far.
UreaKnowHow.com introduces a new initiative for the nitrogen fertilizer industry: An E-MarketPlace for revamps, upgrades, equipment supply, diagnostics, audits, repairs, etcetera. Post your equipment / project and/or services requests or offers (excluding confidential information) in our E-MarketPlace. Click here for posting your inquiries and click here for posting your offers.
High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA) is a problem which concerns steels operating at elevated temperatures in hydrogen environments. It is not to be confused with hydrogen embrittlement or other forms of low temperature hydrogen damage. HTHA is a time-temperature-pressure function. These, basically means the longer that a piece of equipment is exposed to temperatures above its resistance limit in certain hydro-process environment (see API941-NELSON Curve), the more damage to the steel will accumulate; and the higher the temperature rises above the limit of the steel, the more rapidly the damage will occur. Monitoring the integrity of equipment in HTHA-Service is necessary to avoid accidents, especially if one of the following reasons are true: - HTHA in many old plants -is true for many ammonia plants- can occur especially after a long onstream-time, if the incubation time ended. - However, there have been several cases where HTHA was found, even though operating conditions were below the Nelson Curve. - There are new findings since 2016: After explosion in the TESORO refinery with 7 dead, it must be assumed that HTHA in C steel can already be expected at > 204 °C and a hydrogen partial pressure of pH2 > 3.45 bar. It is strongly recommended to monitor the integrity of HTHA vulnerable equipment! Due to the age of many ammonia plants, a lot of equipment may need to be replaced. For avoiding HTHA of new equipment, use the recommendations for fabrication of new equipment in the hydrogen service according API 941 and API 934A! Click here for more information