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Sulphur in Austria

Summary

One oil and gas group heavyweight currently dominates the Austrian sulphur industry supplying 50% of the local demand for sulphur. Jason Stevens takes a closer look at OMV and its dominant role as a by-product sulphur producer in Austria.

Abstract

With its two production facilities, one sour gas plant at Aderklaa and one refinery at Schwechat, OMV, provides approximately 50,000 t/y of sulphur to buyers in the chemical, textile and paper industry in Austria.

50 000 tonnes is imported from the Czech Republic, Poland, Ger­many and the Ukraine. Germany supplies 30 000 tonnes of liquid sulphur, while Poland and the Czech Republic supply 5000 tonnes each. The remaining 10,000 tonnes, in solid form, comes from the Ukraine.

OMV recently told Sulphur magazine, that sulphur production levels at Aderklaa and Schwechat are 12,000 t/y and 32,000 t/y respectively. Maximum capacity at the Aderklaa facility is 15,000 t/y, while at Schwechat it is 80,000 t/y, the company said.

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Advances in smelter acid technology

Summary

Sulphur examines the continued modernisation of smelter acid plants, including some of the alternatives available to conventional sulphur dioxide and sulphuric acid production technologies.

Abstract

Today’s smelter acid plants are highly sophisticated, operating under hotter and more demanding conditions than older plants. Environmental and economic incentives to increase efficiency and cut tail gas emissions have called for the modernisation of all sulphuric acid plants. As a result, plants have undergone a number of process improvements and equipment changes.

In the metallurgical area, the widespread adoption of flash smelting techniques has led to the supply of much stronger gases. These gas streams contain much more oxygen and sulphur than found in sulphur burning plants and can produce very high quality acid, rivalling the product of sulphur burning plants.

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Sulphur production in the Former Soviet Union

Summary

The scattered geopolitical sphere known as the Former Soviet Union is today a powerful source of oil and gas reserves, from which there has been a steady increase in the production of recovered sulphur. This complex region is examined by Jason Stevens.

Abstract

After a dramatic decline in export volumes from the FSU in 1996 totalling just 270,000 tonnes, a notable upturn in traffic is anticipated this year, reaching up to an estimated 1.5 million tonnes.

By far the most elemental sulphur recovered comes from gas, with the Cas­pian Sea providing the most tantilising future pros­pects on the refining side. How­ever, this is limited to the northern parts of the Sea. In the south, the oil is low in sulphur. The different focal points for sulphur production, namely Astra­khan and Oren­burg in Russia, Ten­giz and Kara­ch­aganak in Kazakhstan and Mubarek in Uzbeki­stan, each contain their own set of challenges and problems. Various power plays between the new Republics and their old Soviet masters still have an impact on gas processing and crude refining, which consequently impacts on sulphur production levels. An accurate analysis of the region is made more frustrating by the difficulty in obtaining regular and accurate figures for ­elemental sulphur production. How­ever, it is increasingly clear that the FSU, spearheaded by the preceding sulphur producing areas, have the potential to increasingly threaten Can­ada and the Middle East as major suppliers of sulphur, and could consequently have a negative effect on market price levels.

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