The challenge

Nitric acid is an important chemical compound, with about 80% of total production dedicated for application in the fertilizer industry. Now, the challenge is: how to design a nitric acid plant with maximum energy recovery and lowest investment costs, which meets even the most stringent environmental standards?  


The solution: Stamicarbon Mono- and Dual-Pressure Nitric Acid Designs

Stamicarbon offers mono- and dual-pressure nitric acid production processes for a wide range of plant capacities up to 600 MTPD (mono-pressure) or 2000 MTPD and above (dual-pressure). Both processes are characterized by high tail gas temperature and designed for maximum energy recovery, reliable operation and minimal greenhouse gas emissions.

Mono-Pressure Design Dual-Pressure Design
  • Ideal for lower plant capacities (<600 MTPD (100% HNO3))
  • Lower capital investment (CAPEX)
  • Possible integration with small-scale Stami Green Ammonia technology  
  • Ideal for higher plant capacities (>600 MTPD (100% HNO3) with single equipment)
  • Lower energy consumption (OPEX)


Flow diagram NA dual-pressure process 1
Flow diagram NA dual-pressure process 1

Advantages of Stami Nitric Acid

Stamicarbon's design reduces the total cost of ownership significantly by maximizing the energy recovery of your plant and extending the equipment's lifetime.

When choosing Stami Nitric Acid, you receive the following advantages: 

  • Reliable process
  • Highest energy efficiency
  • Ease and safety of operation
  • Low emissions
  • Corrosion prevention design
  • Full lifecycle support
Lowest energy consumption for nitric acid production 

The main feature of the Stamicarbon nitric acid process is the position of its third tail gas heater. Its location in the ammonia burner vessel allows tail gas temperatures of 480 °C, which has several advantages: 

  • Nitrous oxide decomposition without the addition of an external agent like natural gas
  • Higher power generation in the expansion turbine
  • Extra heat recovery step before releasing the tail gas into the atmosphere
  • Lower steam consumption of the compressor train and thus higher steam export 
Operational safety

Safety is the number one priority for Stamicarbon when designing a nitric acid plant – just as it is for all our technologies. During plant start-up, ammonia slippage can increase the risk of forming explosive ammonium nitrate and ammonium nitrite in the low-pressure cooler condenser and the first compartments of the oxidation/absorption column. Stamicarbon's latest design is characterized by accurate control of the process to minimize ammonia slippage and additional safety measures to prevent unsafe situations during the start-up.  

Low emissions

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are harmful to the environment, contributing to acid rain, the greenhouse effect and ozone layer depletion. The optimum tail gas temperature for the decomposition of N2O in a tertiary N2O/NOx abatement system allows the catalytic reduction of NOx and N2O to concentrations below 40 ppm(v), in line with the latest environmental standards.  

Corrosion prevention design

The nitric acid process is highly corrosive, with main corrosion problems caused by the acid condensation/re-evaporation effect. Stamicarbon's design carefully selects process parameters to minimize this effect and prevent corrosion. Stamicarbon's running reference plant (built in 1989) has been in operation for more than 30 years with no major corrosion issues. Furthermore, no proprietary materials are required in a Stami Nitric Acid Design, further reducing costs.  


A Tailor-Made Nitric Acid Plant

Stamicarbon offers flexibility in creating a tailor-made solution for your nitric acid plant. Stamicarbon's technologies can be combined with the producer's technology, achieving optimal results. All engineering services can be sourced locally to lower investment costs. 

A nitric acid plant can also be offered as an integrated solution within a larger complex for UAN production – including a nitric acid plant, urea solution plant, ammonium nitrate solution plant and UAN mixing plant. 

Stamicarbon offers full life cycle support for nitric acid plants. Our capabilities go beyond designing new plants - we can provide mechanical support, troubleshooting and additional services like:  

Stamicarbon's Nitric Acid plant in operation since 1989

Proven, Reliable Technology

Stamicarbon has licensed a range of nitrate technologies since the 1930s and has designed over 40 nitric acid plants worldwide. Stamicarbon plants are renowned for their safety, reliability and best-in-class mono- and dual-pressure nitric acid technology. We provide guarantees on steam export and cooling water consumption, acid quality, and ammonia consumption. 

Contact us to learn more about the possibilities for your plant. 

Nitric Acid 3D Plant model

Contact us



  • Stami Nitric Acid Brochure