Clariant has started a global campaign to reduce the impact of N2O on climate change and is offering ten nitric acid producers who do not use N2O exhaust gas treatment a free fill of its EnviCat® N2O-S catalyst. EnviCat® N2O-S catalyst converts up to 95 % of the N2O (formed as a by-product of nitric acid production) into oxygen and nitrogen. The catalyst is based on transition metal exchanged zeolites. It is available in bulk and honeycomb form, can be used across a wide range of operating conditions and temperatures, and is designed as a “drop-in” solution, so that it can be installed easily with almost no engineering modifications. In addition to the climate benefits, according to the manufacturer, the catalyst can also slightly increase the nitric acid yield by improving the efficiency of the ammonia oxidation process.
Over 60 million tons of nitric acid are produced annually worldwide, mainly for the manufacture of fertilizers. During their production, N2O is released. The greenhouse gas remains in the atmosphere for about 114 years and thus impacts global warming around 300 times more than CO2. According to the IPCC, 5th Assessment Report, Climate Change 2014, the N2O emissions from the production of nitric acid and its derivative adipic acid correspond to around 100 million tons of CO2 annually. According to Clariant, there are no obligations associated with the offer of the catalyst. However, the company hopes that it will stimulate nitric acid producers to change to a more climate-friendly production.
Of the around 500 nitric acid plants in operation worldwide, more than half run without N2O reduction, mostly in regions without applicable emission control regulations. Clariant’s EnviCat N2O catalysts are installed in more than 45 nitric acid production plants around the world.
- Clariant International Ltd., Muttenz, Switzerland