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Market summit in Marrakech

Summary

The world's leading forum on sulphur and sulphuric acid technologies also established its credentials as the major international meeting dealing with brimstone and acid markets when the Sulphur 2001 conference took place in Marrakech. Sulphur reviews some of the highlights of a mid-October gathering of worldwide expertise.

Abstract

Voluntary product, fatal product or plain waste material, it was all a matter of local preference how delegates from around the world would describe the primary subject of Sulphur 2001. As a vital raw ingredient in our host country’s major export industry, however, there was no doubting the significance of this Marrakech gathering to purchasers, to marketers, and to technology providers alike.

As the home of the world’s largest single-company importer of sulphur, Morocco was a natural choice for British Sulphur to set up its moveable feast. Groupe Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP), the Moroccan parastatal producer of phosphate products for the world’s markets, provided outstanding support as hosts, presenters and delegates within the wider framework of the conference’s activities. It was fitting that the meeting’s proceedings should be rounded off with a fully subscribed site visit to Jorf Lasfar, where OCP’s wholly-owned and joint venture enterprises form the largest sulphuric acid producing site on the planet.

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Safer sulphur handling and storage

Summary

There are many good reasons for degassing liquid sulphur - the main reasons being for safe handling, storage and transportation. In this article, Mohamad Abdul Sater, Senior Process Engineer at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company discusses the reasons for degassing and compares commercial liquid sulphur degassing processes.

Abstract

Worldwide, the current production of sulphur in all forms is approximately 64 million tonnes per year. This sulphur comes from a number of sources: gas processing and petroleum refining, smelter acid, pyrites, Frasch mining and synthetic fuels. These sources can be divided into two distinct categories: voluntary and involuntary sulphur production. The involuntary production of sulphur from gas processing and petroleum refining accounts for more than 60% of world sulphur production. Sulphur produced from this source can contain up to 550 ppm of H2S, while in Frasch mining the sulphur contains up to 100 ppm H2S.

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Systems for enhanced energy recovery

Summary

Since the role of a modern sulphuric acid plant as a thermal power station has become increasingly important, different methods for recovering and utilising the released heat during sulphuric acid production have been developed. Modern systems now utilise heat evolved in the absorption and drying stages of the plant. Lisa Connock reports.

Abstract

Asulphur burning sulphuric acid plant is a net exporter of energy. Approximately 65 MW of heat is evolved in a 1000 t/d sulphur burning sulphuric acid plant. All the main process steps such as sulphur burning, conversion, and absorption are exothermic. In fact, approximately 98% of the energy input comes from energy released by the chemical reactions and the remainder comes from the main blower drive as heat of compression. The energy that is produced during sulphur burning and conversion is utilised for high-pressure steam generation and/or superheating. In the classic process cycle this represents 55-65% of the total energy. In conventional plants, the energy available from acid formation and dilution represents 35-42%, a further 2-3% of the total energy is released with the tail gas via the stack and 0.5% is lost as sensible heat in the product acid.

The heat evolved in the absorption and drying stages has traditionally often been rejected to the sea or air via large shell and tube heat exchangers or air coolers. This wasted heat amounts to approximately 740 MWh per 1000 tonnes sulphuric acid produced.

In the late 1980s a significant step toward more highly efficient plants was taken with the introduction of heat recovery systems generating steam from the acid circuit. In these systems, part of the heat formed in the absorption circuits, which was normally dissipated with the cooling water, is transferred to a higher level and used for the production of lowpressure steam at 6-10 bar. Such heat recovery systems are normally installed in the intermediate absorption circuits.

Monsanto’s HRS system and Lurgi’s HEROS system represent two different approaches to heat recovery systems of this type. Detailed descriptions of both processes were featured in Sulphur No. 262 1 and so only a brief description and update are provided here.

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