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Publication > Issue > Articles

Cleaner fuels: a growing industry

Summary

Oil refiners and technology suppliers gathered in Paris mid-March to discuss current issues in clean fuels legislation. Chris Cunningham reports from the 7th European Fuels Conference.ญญ

Abstract

A regular annual gathering such as the World Refining Association’s Euro­pean Fuels Conference is an opportunity to follow the s­­­hifting emphasis of an industry’s development. With regard to matters generally within the control of Europe’s refiners, this boiled down to discussion of strategy and technology that will squeeze the highest available level of refining margin out of a barrel of crude, and how to respond to shifts in the market.

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ASRL Review

Summary

Coke and refinery residues for power and hydrogen production ASRL differs from many research organisations in that it couples academic investigation with industrial application. This edition of ASRL Review describes the results of research which open the door to the utilisation of coke and refinery residues for the production of power and/or hydrogen.

Abstract

A major challenge for this type of application is that nitrogen oxides (NOx ) are produced in addition to hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide. The production of NOx poses particular concern and requires the invention of new methods for the conversion of NOx to N2. It is the work of Adam Nielsen - a graduate student at the University of Calgary working under Dr Peter Clark’s supervision - that is central to the potential use of heavy crude oil residues and petroleum coke.

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Hazards of sulphur storage, forming and handling - part one

Summary

Part one of a two-part article by Johnny E. Johnson of Washington Group International and Peter D. Clark of ASRL on the hazards of molten and solid sulphur storage, forming and handling based on the results of the most recent pertinent research, actual project design, HAZOP reviews, and startup and operating experience gained from several types of SRU, degassing, forming, storing, transfer and loading facilities.

Abstract

In recent years there has been:

  • increased interest in identifying and reducing vagrant H2S and SO2 emissions from sulphur recovery facilities,
  • recognition that improved molten and final formed solid product quality can be greatly enhanced by degassing the molten sulphur product, and
  • a move to further improve safety during storage and handling of molten and solid sulphur products.

Such activities have required close attention to previously known characteristics and important new research and operating data of molten sulphur produced from Claus sulphur recovery units (SRUs), the soluble H2S and SO2 contained in the raw product, and for handling various forms of molten and solid sulphur. In this same period, improvements or extensions to the Claus SRU technology, such as oxygen enrichment, and an increased need for molten sulphur degassing have in many cases changed the operating conditions and operating procedures for sulphur recovery and processing facilities.

This paper reflects a design engineer’s application of the results of the most recent pertinent research, actual project design, results of HAZOP reviews, and startup and operating experience gained from several types of SRU, degassing, forming, storage, transfer and loading facilities. A process flow diagram for a typical sulphur handling system is presented to review the major unit operations. Material balances have been developed for cases both with and without sulphur degassing to quantitatively follow the molten sulphur H2S and SO2 content of the sulphur as it is recovered, collected, stored, degassed, formed and transferred to the final user or to solid storage.

Particular emphasis is given to the design features and startup and shutdown considerations that are necessary to minimise or avoid emissions, explosive mixtures and fire conditions in associated equipment, and to avoid the presence of dangerous levels of toxic gas accumulation in the atmosphere in associated and nearby operating areas.

 

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Claus conversion under conditions of excessive COS

Summary

Oleg I. Platonov, Senior Researcher at Gipronickel Institute, St Petersburg, Russia, reports on investigations of the catalytic stages of industrial SRUs operating at high Claus ratios in the presence of carbonyl sulphide. Studies showed that when high levels of COS were present in the process gas, undesirable carbon disulphide was generated.

Abstract

The benefits of SRU operation at high Claus ratios, with the H2S/SO2 ratio being maintained at 2 to 8, are presented in Lorenzo Miccuci’s article1, and the Siirtec Nigi process is based on that principle2. Thyssen-Krupp Encoke GmbH has developed a technology for desulphurisation of coke gas involving recycle of H2S, which envisages an even higher H2S/SO2 ratio (ratio of 10) in the SRUs tail gas3. Recent investigations show that when applying processes with a high Claus ratio, one should bear in mind the impact of sulphur species, such as carbonyl sulphide, contained in the process gas on yields of the conversion products.

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Acid plant revitalisation

Summary

Large or small, a plant revamp may be just the revitalisation your plant needs to continue its success in today's competitive marketplace. Motives for retrofit projects include energy recovery, utility expansion, plant capacity increase, emissions reduction, and equipment replacement. Lisa Connock reports on a selection of recent projects.

Abstract

MECS projects

MECS, Inc., formerly Monsanto Enviro-Chem Systems, has completed over 100 retrofit projects for sulphuric acid plants. Some re­cent examples, covering a wide range of projects, are presented below.

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