Alloy Engineering Blog

A Reputation Built on a 40-Year History with Ammonia Oxidation Catalyst Baskets

Alloy Engineering (AECo) has built a reputation over the past 40 years for our ability to provide engineering solutions to recurring operation and maintenance challenges. But more importantly, we pride ourselves on not only solving existing problems, but also creating solutions for the future. Borrowing an analogy from hockey great Wayne Gretsky, AECo “skates to where the puck is going to be”. Our experience and longevity in the industry afford us a unique perspective into the potential challenges our customers will face – and a propensity for forging solutions to circumvent them.

For example, AECo has excelled over the years in the fabrication of nickel alloy materials and providing engineering expertise to customers who manufacture products in high temperature and highly corrosive conditions. We specialize in high-temperature and corrosion-resistant alloys for the nitric acid catalytic process.

The key to our success in these arenas is our ability to project appropriate material selection recommendations and hone design parameters to create longer service life for our products in aggressive conditions.

Since 1975, we have been a world-wide leader for ammonia oxidation catalyst baskets for high-pressure nitric acid production plants. Our early work as the premier fabricator of baskets extended into other opportunities in high pressure plants for complete converter assemblies, heat exchangers, and burner cones. We began fabricating ammonia oxidation catalyst baskets in 1977 to assist a nitric acid production site with performance issues. Today, we’re known for our egg crate grid, segmented weight ring, and heat shield designs for high pressure plant baskets. Indeed, we’ve manufactured many ammonia oxidation catalyst baskets and N2O abatement containment systems for low, medium, and high pressure installations with excellent results and notable service life.

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We are constantly innovating and exploring solutions for severe temperature installations to support the nitric acid production industry. For example, in 2014, amidst the push to reduce harmful emissions in the environment, AECo filed for a patent for our Dual Grid catalyst basket design to be used in the secondary abatement catalyst application for high pressure plants. We recognize that the secondary abatement considerations are still very open-ended. The direction and pace of adoption is unknown; however, AECo is recognized as a leader in fabricating these types of baskets and we continue to explore, engineer, and modify designs to meet evolving industry needs. Residual benefits- our work here has resulted in the use of our baskets with pelletized and block catalysts for secondary N2O abatement.

Today, we proudly offer a wealth of basket designs from which to choose and also fabricate to OEM designs. The unique design features of our baskets help extend their service life, especially in aggressive environments. They are fabricated from heat-resistant materials to include Alloy 800H, 310 stainless steel, 600, 601 and Haynes Alloy 230® in sizes from 12 inches to 20 feet in diameter. AECo’s hex-mesh grid support designs are offered in single and multiple sections, which provide for easy installation as well as optimum performance. These segmented grid assemblies are also easy to remove. Truss-alloy grids also provide for improved gauze support. The use of segmented weight rings creates an improved seal to prevent ammonia gas from bypassing around the gauze. And our conical shells resist thermal gradients.

Indeed, there are multiple styles of converters in the market. AECo fabricates and machines the entire assembly in-house – the basket, weight ring, grid, and the heat shield. The net result is a better quality control with the total manufacturing process under a single roof. In the manufacturing process, we also do full fit-ups to assure that our product assembles correctly before it gets to the job site. AECo encourages our customers to visit our shop for an on-site in process and final inspection before the product ships to them.

We’re proud to be a highly-respected fabricator of heat exchangers for the chemical and nitric acid industry. AECo has in-house design capabilities which allow us to develop a design, model components for fit up and develop product-level drawings, and build to customer specifications.

AECo production facilities include a full line of metal bending and forming equipment to form large high-integrity fabrications with minimal seams. We also have in-house cladding and machining capabilities that includes on-premises horizontal boring and vertical turning lathes.

A close working relationship with our customers enables AECo to continually recognize opportunities for product improvement and engineer superior solutions that minimize life-cycle costs today – and proactively explore potentials for tomorrow.