Nitric acid is one of the world’s largest commodity chemicals, with annual production of approximately 62.2 million metric tons in 2016. The product is used predominantly as an intermediate for fertilizer production (mainly ammonium and calcium ammonium nitrate) and for the production of nitro-containing organic intermediates. Additional uses include metal treatment and uranium processing. In 2016, approximately 80% of nitric acid was used for fertilizer products, whereas the remaining 20% was used in industrial applications.
The largest chemical end uses for nitric acid include nitrobenzene, adipic acid, toluene diisocyanate (TDI), and nitrochlorobenzenes, together accounting for 12.7% of global nitric acid consumption in 2016. Other important end uses include production of explosives, metal treatment, and uranium processing. Nitric acid is a strongly acidic and corrosive liquid that is commercially produced from ammonia via stepwise oxidation and absorption in water.
The United States is the world’s fourth-largest producer and consumer of nitric acid, following Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and China. In 2016, the United States accounted for 13.0% of total world production of nitric acid and 12.9% of consumption. Total domestic consumption of nitric acid is essentially equivalent to annual production, since the impact of inventory changes and international trade is minor. Excluding losses, etc., fertilizer applications accounted for nearly 80% of total nitric acid consumption in 2016, with industrial accounting for the remaining 20%.
Trammo’s role in the supply chain
In 2018, Trammo, Inc. acquired Agrium’s North Bend, Ohio nitric acid production and distribution facility (“North Bend”) from Agrium U.S. Inc. North Bend is a specialized manufacturing and distribution facility for nitrogen based industrial and agricultural products located on 88 acres in an industrial complex on the bank of the Ohio River, 20 miles northwest of Cincinnati.
The North Bend facility has an annual capacity of 75,000 metric tons of nitric acid production along with significant transportation and storage infrastructure for other nitrogen based products including:
Railroad access with CSX and trucking load-out racks
Barge dock located on the Ohio River with ammonia and UAN offload capability
Significant product storage for nitric acid, ammonia and UAN
Highly experienced plant, operations and marketing teams with a strong commitment to safety