Fatty Amine

Our technology covers production of primary amines, secondary amines and tertiary alkyl-methylamines from fatty acids via a two-step process of nitrilation followed by hydrogenation.  Our plants can also be used to produce a wide variety of other nitrogen derivatives via reductive amination, reductive alkylation, or hydrogenation of various nitro- or azo-compounds.   Products find typical application as cationic surfactants and chemical intermediates (e.g., alkoxylated amines and ether amines).

Nitrilation requires high temperatures and is favoured by operation at modest pressure, whereas hydrogenation can be carried out at lower temperature, but requires high pressure.  Therefore, the nitrilation and hydrogenation steps are conducted in separate Jet Reactor systems whose metallurgies and mechanical design parameters are matched to their respective operating conditions.  An ammonia recovery unit is provided to strip aqueous waste streams and recycle ammonia for re-use within the process.

Our Jet Loop Reactor technology achieves high conversion to nitrile, resulting in lower feed and utility costs and high production capacity per unit reactor volume.  Our new Jet Mixer design creates a continual forced circulation of the reactor headspace through an external gas conditioning loop in which water produced via dehydration of ammonium soap and then amide is selectively condensed and eliminated from the system.  As water is removed, the reaction is ‘pulled’ towards completion, resulting in maximum conversion and high yield of nitrile.

The Jet Reactor system also demonstrates its advantage in hydrogenation, wherein the external recirculation loop ensures maximum utilization of hydrogen without the need for an expensive hydrogen compressor.

Two stages of Short-Path Distillation are generally used in both the nitrilation and hydrogenation steps to remove light ends and reject pitch.  Short Path Distillation minimises thermal degradation by conducting fractionation under vacuum at the lowest practicable temperature.  A fully-automated catalyst recovery and filtration package is used in the hydrogenation section.