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CHEMICAL AND FERTILIZER PRODUCTION
ment. Using good welding procedures and
filler metals to avoid porosity and lack of
fusion are helpful, as well. Performing a
cold embrittlement fracture assessment,
as outlined in API 579-1/ASME Fitness
for Service FFS-1, Part 3, or completing
a fracture mechanics assessment per API
579-1/ASME Fitness for Service FFS-1,
Part 9 for cracks found during inspection
can help mitigate brittle fracture.
Finally, for operators and process engineers, use of operating procedures and
temperature controls to keep equipment
above the DBTT when pressurized are
critical to preventing brittle fracture.
Recommendations. Hydrogen tech-
nology is expected to play a particularly
important role in the future of renewable
and alternative forms of energy. Ammonia technology and the NH3 process are
expected to see substantial growth to accommodate existing technologies, as well
as new technology currently in development. With the growth and expansion
of the ammonia cycle and the creation
of new facilities to increase production,
ensuring safe operation and mitigating
hazards is essential.
Safe equipment design, operation and
maintenance of NH3 equipment and assets is a collaborative effort between
ammonia process engineers, mechanical
design and asset integrity engineers and
materials engineers. For mechanical and
materials engineers, it is important to
have a collaborative understanding of the
ammonia process parameters-e.g., operating pressures, temperatures, chemical
compositions of process fluids, etc., to
make informed materials selection decisions. For the process engineer, it is important to have a general understanding
of how decisions to change process parameters during a revamp to improve efficiency, for example, may impact the assets
of a particular material of construction.
Implementation of the right programs
and bringing in knowledgeable technical
experts with experience in the hazards
and threats within this industry are essential to ensuring that accurate assessments are completed and that safety, longevity and proper mitigation of hazards
are guaranteed. To this end, the authors'
consultancy created a joint industry program ( JIP) with numerous participants
that are operators in the ammonia industry. The 2020-2021 JIP focuses on
improving safety and reliability in the
ammonia and fertilizer industry. The first
year of the JIP included the identification
of damage mechanisms and mitigation
options for plant equipment in the ammonia process. The overall plan for the
JIP provides for subsequent-year studies
that will address other safety and reliability issues, including damage mechanisms
and mitigation options for other fertilizer
industry processes including urea, nitric
acid and ammonium nitrate.22
Koohi-Fayegh, S. and M. A. Rosen, " A review
of energy storage types, applications and recent
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Abe, J. O., A. P. I. Popoola, E. Ajenifuja and O. M.
Popoola, " Hydrogen energy, economy and storage:
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Lim, D. K., A. B. Plymill, H. Paik, X. Qian, S.
Zecevic, C. R. I. Chisholm and S. M. Haile, " Solid
acid electrochemical cell for the production of
hydrogen from ammonia, " Joule 4, November 18,
Baker, J., D. J. Benac and D. Shaffer, " Damage
mechanism reviews and mitigation methodology
for ammonia equipment, " Safety in Ammonia Plants
and Related Facilities Symposium, 2019.
Benac, D. J. and M. W. Hester, " Elevated
temperature failure mechanisms in ammonia plant
equipment-Reducing the risk of failure " Safety in
Ammonia Plants and Related Facilities Symposium,
American Petroleum Institute (API), API 571,
Sec. 3.36, " Damage mechanisms affecting fixed
equipment in the refining industry, " 3rd Ed., March
Urzendowski, M. and D. Chronister, " Unexpected
cases of HTHA in gasoline desulfurization units, "
API Equipment and Standards Meeting, May 2011.
Chemical Safety Board (CSB) Bulletin 2005-04-B,
" Positive material verification: Prevent errors during
alloy steel systems maintenance, " October 2006.
Prueter, P. E., R. Jones, J. Hess and J. DeLuca,
" Managing the risks associated with a hydrotreater
reactor with possible high-temperature hydrogen
attack, " Proceedings of the ASME 2019 Pressure
Vessels and Piping Division Conference, San
Antonio, Texas, July 14-19, 2019.
API Recommended Practice 941, " Steels for
hydrogen service at elevated temperatures and
pressures in petroleum refineries and petrochemical
plants " 8th Ed., 2016.
Hester, M. W. and D. J. Benac, " Reducing the risk of
HTHA failures, " World Fertilizer Magazine, October
Loginow, W., " Stress corrosion cracking of steel
in liquefied ammonia service-A recapitulation, "
National Board of Pressure Vessel Inspectors,
National Board Bulletin, January 1989.
Russell, A. M., " Testing and recommended
practices to improve nurse tank safety, " Phase 1,
U.S. Department of Transportation, FMCSARRR-13-032, October 2013.
" Stainless steels in ammonia production, "
Committee of Stainless Steel Producers, AISI,
Macejko, B., " Is your plant vulnerable to a brittle
fracture? " Hydrocarbon Processing, November 2014.
Benac, D. J., D. Shaffer and D. Wood, " Managing
cold temperature and brittle fracture hazards in
ammonia-related industries, " Safety in the Ammonia
Plants and Facilities Symposium, 2015.
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cold temperature and brittle fracture hazards for
pressure vessels, " Journal of Failure Analysis and
Prevention, February 2016, Vol. 16.
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and Pressure Vessel Code, Section 8: Rules for
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York, New York, 2017.
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" Assessment of existing equipment for brittle
fracture, " Part 3, June 2016.
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and fertilizer industry joint industry program-A
resource to manage damage mechanisms and
mitigation options, " World Fertilizer, 2020.
SEAN BERG works in BakerRisk's
San Antonio, Texas office as part
of the Investigation and Materials
Group. He has a background in
both mechanical engineering
and metallurgical and materials
engineering, and is a registered
professional engineer practicing in both disciplines.
As a university professor, he has taught university
coursework and conducted research in each of these
areas of engineering. With 10 yr of experience as an
engineer, Dr. Berg has expertise in structural and
mechanical integrity of fixed and rotating equipment,
fitness-for-service assessments, failure analysis of
plant and refinery equipment, high-pressure hightemperature (HPHT) drilling and production systems,
and forensic investigation of property damage and
determining origin and cause of losses resulting
from fire, water, weather and external forces.
Dr. Berg is also a specialist in batteries and battery
materials, with in-depth expertise in battery
energy storage systems and associated hazards.
DANIEL J. BENAC works at
BakerRisk's San Antonio,
Texas office in the Materials
Engineering Group. As a registered
professional metallurgical engineer
in the state of Texas, Mr. Benac
is a specialist in structural integrity
and material issues, failure analysis of plant
equipment, materials evaluations and materials
selection for designs. He has more than 35 yr of
experience investigating and solving structural
integrity problems for plant equipment.
DOROTHY SHAFFER is a subject
matter resource for ammoniarelated production and terminal
facilities. She has 20 yr with a major
ammonia producer in production,
process engineering, project
engineering and as Director of
Risk and Reliability, and 15 yr of consulting work on
mechanical integrity programs, process safety and risk
evaluation work. Mrs. Shaffer's background bridges
gaps among process, operations and mechanical
integrity programs in ammonia-related fields.
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