Development of a Generic OTS for Ammonia Production Plants


Gibert Berenguer, Llorenç

The industrial capacity to avoid accidents relies on an increase of the plant standard safety protocols over the years and by the experience of the operators working on them, that have to manage large amounts of information and act accordingly to the necessities of the process to ensure safety and productivity. Until now, training of this operators has been carried out by traditional methods, such as pilot plants or theoretical study of the process, which are limited and not as efficient on the effectiveness and the amount of inversion needed. This leads to a bigger risk of accidents, due to the lack of proper information management skills from the less experienced operators. A powerful tool to improve the quality of the training of the operators and to avoid the problems that more traditional methods have, the Operator Training Simulator (OTS), giving the oppor-tunity to learn how to properly react to real situations and emergency scenarios without the risks for the workers. This asset increases the effectiveness of the workers against planned and unplanned situations, simulating dynamically the behaviour of the plant to train the oper-ators on the real-life situations that could be encountered. Therefore, the main goal of this master thesis is to build a generic OTS of an ammonia pro-duction plant. The scope of this project is to simulate the second step of the process: the production of ammonia from hydrogen. Haldor Topsøe plant design has been selected for this goal, as the synthesis gas section has a traditional design. The process is divided in three main parts: pressurization, synthesis and purification. The procedure followed to make this OTS are to create, based on bibliographic information, a steady state (SS) and a dynamic model to compare them in order to validate the dynamic simulation, using Aspen HYSYS. Once validated, the dynamic model simulation is connected to the interface created for the operator using Instructor Station (IS). Finally, three scenarios (turndown, blocked outlet, blocked recycle) have been programmed that allow the observation of the dynamic response of the plant against a perturbation so the operator can manipulate the required variables to correct the deviations of the model from normal operation.



Nomen Ribé, Rosa
Alós Sanz, Miquel Àngel


IQS SE - Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering