We started already long time ago to consider an engineering approach towards catalytic ammonia oxidation rather than an isolated view on catalyst gauzes. Consequently the focus is steadily directed on the complexity and interactivity of the various process aspects. This is why we consider ourselves as a system provider rather than simply a supplier of gauzes.
For us engineering means customization: this procedure always begins with the description of our customers' primary objectives, needs and wishes. The resulting task is our challenge that our experts take on. Based on a detailed analysis we invest all our expertise in the development of a solution that meets or even exceeds this goal.
Engineering also means to finetune or to modify the process conditions in a given reactor to reach the maximum process performance. Catalyst gauzes will not be able to achieve the best possible results in case they are lacking the perfect environment. Here we take care of providing this condition which is as important as the catalyst itself.
Making the process visible
By means of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) Umicore has developed a wide range of model calculations for any type of burner and pressure setup and can nowadays quite easily simulate even difficult and highly complex burner setups - including filter systems, distribution plates and other specific features of the burner design. This way we can detect weak points of the process and develop strategies and perpectives to address these problems together with our customers. It is even possible to determine the temperature distribution and hence the activity level within respective layers of the gauze pack. This reveals further important information regarding process characteristics.
These unique process simulations are operated by sophisticated model calculations with specialised software programs that are based on theoretical parameters (like selected thermodynamic and physico-chemical parameters) as well as practical results obtained in more than 60 different operations. Furthermore the calculations are taking into account both, the convective and the diffuse gas velocity.