Project Synopsis

Provide process engineering support of a preliminary process design and to assist in the preparation of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a thermal treatment process for the disposal of waste energetic materials at an explosives production facility.

Project Summary

Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was subcontracted by the client, a full-service engineering firm, to support a preliminary process design and to assist in the preparation of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a thermal treatment process for the disposal of an Ammonium Nitrate Solution (ANsol) generated by the ultimate client, a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) explosives production facility located in the US.  ANsol is designated as a RCRA hazardous waste because it contains more than 5 ppm of chromium (Cr).  An on-site process technology for the thermal treatment and/or destruction of the ANsol byproduct stream in a safe and environmentally responsible manner was deemed critical to process operations.  The RFP was aimed at design/build construction contractors with current and relevant experience, personnel, and capabilities to perform the design and construction of a permanent on-site facility capable of performing thermal destruction of the ANSol byproduct produced by the ultimate client, with the facility to be constructed at the ultimate client’s plant.  PROCESS, as a subcontractor to the client, was responsible for the evaluation of all process engineering elements of the RFP.

For this RFP development project, PROCESS was tasked with determining that thermal treatment and disposal of the ANsol waste was technically feasible and determining the economic viability, via preliminary capital and operating cost estimation, for whatever thermal treatment and associated gas cleaning technologies might be offered by thermal technology companies.  To accomplish this, PROCESS prepared and submitted a Request for Information and Quote (RFIQ) to several thermal treatment companies.  Thermal treatment technologies considered included liquid injection incineration, fluidized bed incineration, and Super Critical Water Oxidation (SCWO).  Heat and mass balance (HMB) stream summaries were developed for Process Flow Diagrams (PFDs) for each thermal treatment technology required for treating a number of ANsol waste compositions.

One of the most significant aspects of this project was the definition of the gas cleaning equipment technology for the removal of the potentially very large amount of NOx generated from the thermal treatment of the high nitrogen content ANsol waste.  Both Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) were considered as proven technologies for NOx control, and their potential technical and cost viability were evaluated by PROCESS.  Comparison of the safety and efficacy of urea versus anhydrous ammonia as the NH3 source was done for the NOx reduction processes.

PROCESS was also tasked with evaluating the results of the pilot studies for the SCWO technology and the potential for pilot and/or benchtop studies for incineration technologies.  An important aspect of these studies was to determine how much NOx would be generated by the incineration process and to evaluate process conditions that could reduce NOx generation without diminishing organic compound destruction and removal efficiency.

Industry Type

Explosives and Ammunition Manufacturing


Utilized Skills

  • Thermal destruction process evaluation and design
  • Detail engineering RFP development technical support

Contact Us