Optimization of the ammonia oxidation process used in the manufacture of nitric acid

  • P. Uronen
  • E. Kiukaanniemi
Optimal Control
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3)


A semiempirical mathematical model for the industrial ammonia oxidation process has been derived. The model takes also the ageing of the catalyst into account. The model is used to simulate the behaviour of the plant and the results show a good conformity with the operational experiences and published qualitative results.

Based on this model an examplewise optimization study of the whole nitric acid plant has been carried out. The objective function used is the total variable costs minus total revenue value of production integrated over one service period of the catalyst.

This minimization problem can be solved by using dynamic programming and preliminary numerical calculations give about 2% better result than the conventional strategy in plant operation.


Service Period Good Conformity Ageing Curve Total Variable Cost Waste Heat Boiler 


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    Curievici, I., Ungureanu, S.T., An analogical model of the reactor for ammonia catalytic oxidation, Buletinul Institutului Politehnic Din Iasi, Serie Noua, Tomul, XIV (XVIII), Fasc. 1–2, 227, 1968.Google Scholar
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    Oele, A.P., Technological aspects of the catalytic combustion of ammonia with platinum gauze elements, Chem. Eng. Sci. 3, 1–2, 146, 1958.Google Scholar
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    Roudier, Houssier and Tracez, An Examination of nitric acid process yields, Information Chimie, Vol. 12, 6, 27.Google Scholar
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    Uronen, P., Kiukaanniemi, E., Optimization of a nitric acid plant, Process Technology International, December 1972, Vol. 17, No. 12.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Uronen
    • 1
  • E. Kiukaanniemi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OuluFinland

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