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Industrial uses of sulphuric acid

Summary

Although phosphates and sulphur fertilizers represent the majority of sulphuric acid demand, its use in a wide variety of industrial applications has been a major growth area in recent years.

Abstract

As is well known, sulphuric acid is the most widely used industrial chemical in the world in terms of consumption, with over 260 million t/a estimated to be used in 2015. The phosphate and fertilizer market continues to represent the majority share of all consumption, at around 55% of all acid demand. However, the remaining 45% is a large slice of demand which is spread between literally hundreds of different end uses. Chemical and industrial end-use markets for sulphuric acid have grown slightly more quickly than fertilizer uses, and chemical uses particularly so. However, the slowdown in global chemical and metal/commodity markets means that this may not necessarily be the case over the next few years. Keywords: LEACHING, COPPER, NICKEL, URANIUM, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, TIO2, PAPER, MMA, CAPROLACTAM, RAYON, REFINING, ALKYLATION, BATTERY, FIBRES, HYDROFLUORIC, HF

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Working in concert – sulphur and sulphuric acid

Summary

Harold Weber, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Special Projects and Craig Jorgenson, Vice President, Transportation and Regulatory Affairs for The Sulphur Institute discuss the organisation's work on sulphur and sulphuric acid regulatory affairs.

Abstract

The Sulphur Institute (TSI) is an international, non-profit organization established in 1960. With more than 55 years of experience, TSI represents all stakeholders engaged in producing, consuming, trading, handling, and adding value to sulphur. Recently, TSI expanded its programs and now is actively representing sulphuric acid interests in North America and expanding activities to include membership and participation in the European Sulphuric Acid Association. We seek to provide a common voice working in concert with both segments of industry and to promote leading practices in the handling and transportation of all sulphur products while protecting the environment and communities in which we operate. Keywords: SAFETY, TRANSPORTATION, RAILROAD, MOLTEN, RAIL, REGULATION, DOCUMENT

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Acid gas reinjection

Summary

With increasing volumes of sulphur from sour oil and gas projects now beginning to reach the market, will companies have to more seriously consider reinjection of acid gas?

Abstract

Sulphur production is projected to rise from about 60 million t/a at the end of 2015 to 75 million t/a in 2020, and much of the increase in production (11 million t/a out of the 15 million t/a increase) is coming from sulphur extracted in sour gas processing. With a projected surplus of several million tonne per year by 2020, sulphur will be in considerable excess in the market, and hence prices low. Many producers are already having to think about whether to pour sulphur to block. That being the case, the other option – if you are a sour gas producer – is to inject the acid fraction of the gas from your gas processing plant back down the well. Keywords: CORROSION, HYDRATES, EOR, CO2, H2S, DEHYDRATION, METHANOL, WELL, STAINLESS

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Improved acid gas removal

Summary

Acid gas removal has been improved over the years with the development of new solvents and novel process line-ups, tailored to specific project requirements. In this article J. Rolker, M. Irfan and R. Steglich discuss a new class of amines for acid gas removal from Evonik, S. Kobussen reports on the first results from new acid gas removal designs from Jacobs and M. Rameshni discusses recent developments from RATE.

Abstract

The most common process for acid gas removal in the industry is the chemical absorption process utilising an aqueous amine solution (Fig. 1). The sour gas and the lean amine are brought in contact in counter-current mode in the absorber at higher pressures (10-100 bar) and lower temperatures (lean amine inlet temperature at the top: 40-65°C). The CO2 and H2S loaded rich amine leaves the absorber at the bottom of the absorber and is introduced to a first flash vessel where the pressure is decreased and co-absorbed gas components are predominantly released (high-pressure flash) and a second flash at lower pressure to release a part of the acid gases (low-pressure flash). The remaining amount of acid gases is drawn from the stripper, which is equipped with a reboiler to generate stripping steam and provide the regeneration energy for desorption of the acid gases. The desorber is operated at lower pressure (1-2 bara) and higher temperatures (110-125°C). Finally, the regenerated lean absorbent is fed back to the absorber. Keywords: amines, CAPLUS, S-MAX, hot flash technology, Sulfinol M, enrichment, H2S removal, acid gas removal, gas sweetening, MDEA, AEE

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Combining technologies for enhanced acid production

Summary

New sulphuric acid plant designs are being proposed that combine innovative technologies in new process line-ups to optimise the economics of sulphuric acid production and reduce emissions.

Abstract

Outotec sulphuric acid technologies Outotec has been providing technologies for the production of sulphuric acid for more than 80 years and is a leading supplier of solutions for the sulphuric acid industry. Outotec’s LUREC™ and HEROS™ technologies can be combined to provide highly efficient acid production. Keywords: sulphuric acid, LUREC, HEROS, TurboScrubber, gas cleaning, tail gas scrubbing, Cansolv, BAYQIK, Maxene, HRS, SolvR

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Sulphur recovery, energy efficiency and carbon management

Summary

A recent study by UniverSUL Consulting explores the relationship between SO2 and CO2 emissions in sulphur recovery facilities and investigates whether there is a point at which further increases in sulphur recovery efficiency results in diminishing returns, in terms of energy consumption and associated CO2 footprint. Real world data is presented using the sulphur facilities in Abu Dhabi as a specific regional example.

Abstract

Since the late 1980s, growing concerns that acid precipitation was damaging forests and aquatic ecosystems resulted in governments world‐wide adopting increasingly strict clean air regulations on sulphur emissions from processing facilities. Flue gas from coal‐fired power plants was, and still is, the primary source of SO2 emissions contributing to these concerns. Nevertheless, sulphur recovery facilities in refineries and gas plants also came under scrutiny to substantially reduce their SO2 impact on the environment. As a result, increased sulphur recovery emissions regulations have been imposed over the past three decades, via a stepwise approach. Keywords: emissions, SO2, CO2, Abu Dhabi, energy consumption, sulphur recovery efficiency, SRE, sour gas, flaring

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Sulphur recovery from waste metallurgical gases

Summary

In recent years the urgency to solve the problem of sulphur utilisation from waste metallurgical gases has increased dramatically. O.G. Eremin and A.V. Tarasov discuss laboratory Investigations that have been conducted by the State Research Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (Gintsvetmet) in Moscow, Russia, to study the process of catalytic reduction of SO2 using producer gas (carbon monoxide). When using an alumina catalyst at a temperature of 400°C and a space velocity of 250 h-1 the SO2 conversion to sulphur was 96-98%. Further conversion to achieve air quality standards for sulphur emissions to the atmosphere can be achieved by adding a single Claus stage.

Abstract

The production of non-ferrous metals by pyrometallurgical methods generates significant amounts of SO2 gases with different concentrations, depending on the stage of metal production. Off-gases with higher SO2 concentrations (more than 4.5%) are typically used for sulphuric acid manufacture. However, in some cases, when there is no demand for sulphuric acid, it is more appropriate to recover sulphur in the form of elemental sulphur. Compared to sulphuric acid, sulphur is easier to transport and can be stored in the open. Keywords: SO2 reduction, producer gas, carbon monoxide, Norilsk Nickel, coal, Gintsvetmet

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