Managing Rotating Equipment Lube Oils in the Ammonia & Nitric Acid Industry
Compressors are an important machinery asset in the production of fertilizers and are integral in their ammonia and nitric acid production lines. Reliable compressor performance is dependent upon having a high quality, well maintained lubricant. These compressor lubricants are placed under a lot of thermal stress and may be exposed to process gases, which can cause rapid fluid deterioration. These chemical changes in the lubricant manifest themselves into mechanical challenges in the compressor set, such as vibration, bearing temperature increases and valve sticking in hydraulically manipulated controls. This paper examines the nexus between these chemical changes in the fluid and mechanical impacts to the machinery. Furthermore, best-practice condition monitoring strategies and maintenance actions are suggested for integration into a fertilizer plant’s reliability program.