Fertilizers are used to improve plants growth and yield. Modern synthetic fertilizers are composed mainly of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The Agrium Fort Saskatchewan Plant produces Ammonia from nitrogen. The process typically consists of mixing natural gas and steam into a vessel and then pumping in air. The resulting reaction leaves nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is removed and ammonia is produced. Ammonia is further moved along the process converting it to nitric oxide and both of these components are used to make ammonium nitrate.
Effects of air quality vary in Fertilizer plants as it is dependent on specific pollutants that are vented to the atmosphere. Some air pollutants created by fertilizer plants include Hydrogen Sulphide, Ammonia, and carbon dioxide. These gases range from limiting the ability of cells to use oxygen, irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract to shortness of breath and dizziness.
Ammonia and Nitric oxide contribute to what is known as Nitrogen cascade. This is where each ammonia molecule can, in sequence, impact atmospheric visibility, soil acidity, forest productivity, terrestrial ecosystem, biodiversity, and stream acidity.
The Fertilizer industrial application considered was for the environment conditions as well as the potential to produce air borne emissions. This plant had sulphur oxides and Nitrogen Oxides and could, in the presence of oxygen, be highly corrosive so the fan package developed was for hazardous area classification Class I and Division I. The fan was fabricated so that the faulty operation of this equipment would not cause simultaneous failure of electric equipment and in turn ignite the flammable gases present.
Consideration was given to the fan material and the design with a higher Static Pressure so as to overpower obstructions. With this fan Easton Industrial Air was able to design it so that the specially designed fan blades would focus air without creating increased noise. In fact, the noise level was kept lower than regulated. Agrium was satisfied with the ease of engineering and transitioning to the install for this fan.