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Products and solutions, 2003-11-05, 01:00 AM

Commissioning of the first plant to use the new Uhde process for the elimination of the greenhouse gas N2O

The world`s first full-scale facility for the elimination of laughing gas (N2O) from the waste gas of nitric acid plants was today officially commissioned by AMI Agrolinz Melamine International GmbH in Linz / Austria. This facility uses the new Uhde process to convert the laughing gas obtained in nitric acid production plants to elemental nitrogen and oxygen with the aid of a special catalyst.

Laughing gas is a natural atmospheric trace gas that is essentially harmless, but it does contribute to the global greenhouse effect by about 5%, its adverse influence being specifically some 300 times more severe than that of carbon oxide (CO2). This plant will reduce the emission of laughing gas at the site of the Agrolinz plant by approx. 1,600 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to an annual production of about 500,000 tonnes CO2.

This first full-scale plant using the new Uhde process for the reduction of emissions is a substantial AMI contribution to climate protection. This plant alone accounts for 40 % of the Austrian reduction target (Kyoto protocol) in the field of industries and the producing sector.

In addition to the elimination of laughing gas, the new process simultaneously provides for the reduction of nitrogen oxides such as NO and NO2, also referred to as NOx, which are set free in the nitric acid process. A separate DeNOx unit was formerly installed to ensure the removal of nitrogen oxides, but in future the new process technology can be used to perform the reduction of N2O and NOx emissions in a single reactor.

"The new process yields excellent results on the one hand and permits easy and full integration of the unit into the production plant on the other," said Dr. Wolfgang Essig, Chairman of the Executive Board of Uhde GmbH. A sufficiently high waste gas temperature at the nitric acid plant outlet is the only technical prerequisite for the application of the new process technology. Uhde will offer the new process and the necessary hardware to those nitric acid producers whose nitric acid plants meet the requirements for this application.

Uhde is a company in the Technologies segment of the ThyssenKrupp Group and has a workforce of 3,500 employees worldwide. The company`s activities focus on the design and construction of chemical and other industrial plants in the following fields: fertilisers, organic chemicals and plastics, electrolysis, oil, gas and refining technology and pharmaceuticals.

AMI Agrolinz Melamine International GmbH is a fully owned OMV subsidiary, which upgrades natural gas into high-value agricultural and industrial raw materials. The company`s main products are melamine and plant nutrients. In the melamine sector, AMI is the market leader in Europe and the global number two. It also occupies a leading ranking in the plant nutrients market in the Danube region.


Uhde GmbH
Andreas Beckers - Public Relations
Phone +49 2 31 5 47 -2514
Fax +49 2 31 5 47 26 28

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