BC Insight - Nitrogen+Syngas, Sulphur, Fertilizer International
Login
BCInsight Ltd
China Works
Black Prince Road
London, SE1 7SJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 2567
Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 2577

Publication > Issue > Articles

Convening in Calgary

Summary

This year's Sulphur conference rode into the capital of the Canadian oil and gas business with a remit to set the agenda for the brimstone business. Chris Cunningham looks back on a millennial event.

Abstract

When a conference and exhibition of 320 delegates drawn from every region of the world and comprising leading figures in sulphur production, trade, technology and consultancy gets together, it really ought to be setting the agenda for the industry’s future.

At Sulphur 99 you can be sure that it did.

The choice of venue for this year’s conference – Calgary, arguably the world’s major centre of sulphur production and trade – inevitably added an extra dimension to the world’s leading event dealing with brimstone business.

By the end of the three days of formal business, spaces for the Sul­phur 2000 exhibition were being snapped up. And the first delegate booking for next year’s conference in San Francisco arrived in these offices shortly afterwards. Better get those reservation forms printed up!

In the coming months, Sulphur magazine will be focusing on key technical issues from the Sulphur 99 programme. Here we can only give you a taste of the wide-ranging presentations, which were in turn enriched by lively and involved contributions from the floor of the conference.

Add to basket


NP pioneers fuel cell power storage

Summary

A regenerative fuel cell system using a sulphide/polysulphide electrolyte is at the heart of a new large-scale power storage facility being built by National Power (NP) at Didcot in the UK. At 100 MW, the so-called Regenesys energy storage plant is easily the largest commercial industrial application of fuel cell technology in the world to date.

Abstract

Fuel cells generate power electrochemically, using chemical reactions to release energy. Most ­systems involve the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to form water, in fact, the reverse of the electrolysis of water to form hydrogen.

Potential applications are many and varied, from stationary generation of electric power to providing a cleaner, more efficient replacement of the internal combustion engine in vehicles.

In principle, most fuel cells can operate in either direction – using up chemical reactants to produce energy, or using up energy to form the reactants – and used in this way regenerative fuel cell systems are able to store electric power produced by other means for later use when needed. Because fuel cells are quick to start up and very efficient converters of chemical to electrical energy and back again, there is growing interest in their use as flexible power storage applications.

Add to basket


Promising processes for HP gas ­desulphurisation

Summary

Liquid redox processes are typically used for small-scale sulphur recovery of high-pressure sour natural gas, albeit with limited success. A number of new processes now claim a significant technology breakthrough in this challenging sulphur recovery application. Lisa Connock reports on the Sulfint HP process, the CrystaSulf process and the Shell-Paques process.

Abstract

For small-scale sulphur recovery of H2S-containing natural gas, liquid redox processes occupy a specific niche. Redox processes allow the direct oxidation of H2S into ­elemental sulphur, at ambient temperature, with nearly 100% selectivity. Depending upon the design of the absorber, conversions can be very high, leading to extremely low residual H2S levels in the treated gas, in some cases below 1 ppm. Redox pro­cesses are usually highly flexible and are being used on a wide variety of H2S-containing gases, including refinery gases, coke oven gases, and natural gases.

The main limitations of current redox processes are their relatively high chemical costs, the quality of the sulphur produced, which is generally not as pure as Claus sulphur, and the difficulty of treating high-pressure gases. In addition, many users of aqueous liquid redox processes have experienced handling problems and bad cases of foaming and sulphur plugging.

Add to basket


Orinoco upgrade

Summary

Low oil prices, political change, labour unrest and equity juggling have all failed to throw Venezuela's heavy oil upgrading projects off course. Chris Cunningham reports on the latest developments in a refining bonanza that could lead to major changes in regional sulphur trade.

Abstract

Given the turmoil and uncertainty surrounding the José heavy oil upgrader projects in Venezuela, it is a matter of some wonder that the scheme’s various ­elements are more-or-less on course, even ahead of schedule in some cases. But they are on track, and by the middle of the next decade Venezuela’s Caribbean coast is due to ship a new-found 600,000 t/y of sulphur onto world markets – along with much larger quantities of high-value crude supplies.

Add to basket


Phillips lowers sulphur in gasoline

Summary

With looming restrictions on the sulphur content in transportation fuels, Phillips Petroleum is joining the technology development fray with a process, S Zorb, that promises to remove sulphur with little volume loss and without an expensive octane penalty. Lisa Connock reports.

Abstract

Phillips Petroleum Company of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, recently unveiled a new sulphur removal technology which it claims will create gasoline that meets the US EPA’s proposed Tier II requirement to reduce the sulphur content of gasoline to 30 ppm. The new technology, which uses an adsorbent-catalyst named S Zorb, has been successfully pilot tested and is ready for scale-up and testing at a demonstration unit in a 6000 bbl/d semiworks at Phillips Borger, Texas, refinery. Although the semiworks, whose construction will start in early 2000 and be complete a year later, is the first demonstration-scale use of the technology, Phillips says that licensing interest is running high. The process has been under development for about 18 months, and has previously been tested in a 2 bbl/d pilot plant.

Add to basket