About Yara

2007: N2O reduction technology

In May 2007, Yara's Research Center at Porsgrunn in Norway unveiled abatement technology that dramatically reduces nitrous oxide N2O emissions from nitric acid plants.

The new technology was a result of more than a decade of R&D and an investment of approximately USD 20 million. By the time of the announcement, Yara had already installed the de- N2 O catalysts in seven plants in Norway, France and Italy. The company also announced it would install the technology in all its nitric acid plants in the coming years. Results showed that by the end of 2008, use of the catalysts would reduce Yara’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from nitric acid plants by about 50 percent. Long-term, it was expected that this figure could rise to between 70 and 90 percent

The catalyst composition and production method was based on a unique high-temperature catalyst process and pellets of cobalt and cerium oxide. The pellets have an expected minimum lifetime of three years and no adverse effect on the production process. The nitrous oxides are broken down to nitrogen and oxygen and contain no harmful substances.

Best available technology

Yara’s catalyst technology was fully patented, and a sales and marketing agreement was signed with Johnson Matthey Plc, Noble Metals to make it available to the chemical industry. Competing technologies existed, but Yara’s solution was seen as best as it could be implemented at almost all existing facilities without adversely affecting efficiency or energy consumption. If the technology was installed in Europe’s 100 nitric acid plants, GHG savings would be 30 million tons of CO2 equivalents. Worldwide implementation would roughly double the reduction to 75 million tons of CO2 equivalents.

The new de-N2 O catalysts were just the latest of Yara’s NOx abatement technologies. NOxCare (formerly known as Reduktan) was originally for use in its own nitric acid plants, but is now employed extensively in a variety of industrial applications - especially power stations and maritime vessels. The Air1solution for AdBlue, a non-toxic urea solution, is designed to mitigate the other main source of NOx - combustion engines in heavy-duty vehicles.

At the announcement of its new catalyst technology, Yara CEO and President, Thorleif Enger, stated: “Environmental problems, such as global warming, are some of the fundamental issues affecting our planet today. At Yara, we recognize that we can, and must, play a decisive role in finding solutions. We have therefore prioritized the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as part of our ongoing commitment to limiting the environmental impact of our operations.”

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