Advanced Process Control

Advanced process control (APC) is a computer software that optimizes the process by collecting real-time data. It improves plant reliability, optimizes feedstock use, enhances safety and product quality and automatically adjusts the operation of the ammonia plant, replacing minute to minute control by operators. There are optimization potentials with advanced process control in almost all process steps of an ammonia plant. APC increases production by identifying capacity constraints thereby enabling the plant to operate as close as possible to the plant’s capacity. Energy consumption is reduced as maximizing production typically lowers the energy use per tonne of product. 

This measure is applicable for all feedstocks and for both retrofit and new plants.

Development Status Products
Commercial
Ammonia

Advanced Process ControlCosts & Benefits

Parent Process: General Measures for Ammonia Plants
Energy Savings Potential
CO2 Emission Reduction Potential
Costs

Average payback period varies between 6 months and 2.5 years (A2A Toolkit). 

Australian flag In an Australian plant, the payback time for the installation of APC software was less than 6 months.  (Australian Government, 2009)

Flag of Belgium In a plant in Belgium that was already optimized, implementation of an APC saved an additionl € 400 000 per year, resulting in a payback time less than one year (Thyssenkrupp, unknowndate). 

German flag An APC that was implemented in a German plant and that has increased production by 2.5% had a payback time of less than 6 months (Honeywell, 2012). 

Advanced Process Control Publications

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40