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FTC, Functional Total Control, is a completely new concept for the catalytic oxidation of ammonia which has been available since 1996 solely from Heraeus Nitro Technologies. Using computer models, a fully integrated catalytic package is designed specifically for each reactor. FTC is designed to reduce total production costs: the cost savings are primarily achieved by reducing precious metal losses and reducing the precious metal weight of the installed catalyst. FTC does away with the requirement of catchment systems to be installed in the reactor. To accomplish this, FTC systems utilise specially developed, complex alloys which enable the total weight of precious metals required to be substantially reduced. When compared to conventional catalyst systems, cost reductions of up to 35% per tonne of nitric acid produced have been achieved in numerous industrial applications. This result has been achieved without sacrificing ammonia conversion efficiency or campaign length. On the contrary, ammonia conversion efficiencies are bench marked over even extended campaigns. FTC is suitable for virtually all reactor types.


FTCplus is a catalyst system for ammonia oxidation which incorporates all features of the FTC system with the additional feature that it produces substantially less nitrous oxide (N2O) than other systems.

Comparison of N2O emission from Standard and FTCplus catalyst system in a medium pressure nitric acid plant

During the ammonia oxidation reaction not all the ammonia passing the catalyst is converted to HNO3. A small proportion of ammonia is converted to nitrogen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is an inert gas and, under normal operating conditions in nitric acid plants, it passes unreacted through the absorption column and into the atmosphere. Typically from 3 kg to 10 kg of nitrous oxide is emitted per tonne of nitric acid produced. Nitrous oxide is known to strongly contribute to global warming: it is around 310 times more damaging than carbon dioxide and is a major factor in the destruction of the ozone layer. Nitric acid plants are currently the largest man-made stationary sources of nitrous oxide emissions and some countries already impose taxes and limits on its emissions. The reduction of nitrous oxide emissions has therefore become a major concern to nitric acid manufacturers in recent years.

FTCplus, which reduces the nitrous oxide emission at source. FTCplus has been commercially available since 2000. After installation, the emissions of nitrous oxide have been reduced on average by more than 30% over extended campaign lengths in many industrial applications. FTC and FTCplus consist of a number of metallic gauze layers and can be installed in virtually any reactor. No changes to the reactor itself and no additional catalyst is required in order to operate FTCplus. Both FTC and FTCplus catalyst systems can be delivered in form of individual gauze layers or pads or mounted on the Stretcher. Detailed documentation and installation information as well as on-site installation support are available.