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Publication > Issue > Articles

Canadian sulphur forming capacity

Summary

The changing nature of the US sulphur market is having a knock-on effect north of the border, where an industry that previously concentrated on liquid sulphur transport is now turning to new forming capacity.

Abstract

Canada has long been one of the largest exporters of sulphur in the world, but that position has been eclipsed in recent years by the rise of new producers in the Middle East, particularly Qatar and Abu Dhabi, at the same time that falling production from sour gas is reducing Canadian sulphur availability. This sea change in the global sulphur market has led North America’s largest consumer of sulphur, Mosaic, to install a new 1 million t/a sulphur melter at its New Wales site to allow it to use solid sulphur imports from overseas, as discussed in our article last year (Sulphur 365, Jul/Aug 2016, pp22-24). This has the potential to reduce US consumption of molten sulphur from Canada, posing an additional headache for Canadian sulphur producers. The response has been for Canada to look to new sulphur forming projects in order to give itself the option of sending more solid sulphur overseas. Keywords: Heartland, Oxbow, Edmonton, Calgary, sour, tar, refinery, upgrade, upgrader, refineries, bitumen, dilbit, synbit, syncrude, pipeline, Keystone, export, liquid.

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Saudi Arabia: beyond oil

Summary

Saudi Arabia's 'Vision 2030' plan to diversify its economy could radically transform many industries within the country, including the way that it produces and consumes sulphur.

Abstract

After half a century of relying on a single substance, oil, Saudi Arabia appears to be making a serious effort to diversify its economy. While the current fall in oil prices – driven in no small measure by Saudi Arabia’s refusal to play its usual role as swing producer – has been one factor in this, there are also many other reasons why the country is seeking to end what one minister has called its oil “addiction”. The changing nature of the oil market is certainly one – the US is no longer the major oil importer that it once was as tight oil released by fracking techniques makes the USA almost self-sufficient in oil production once again. Keywords: 2030, Maaden, Ma’aden, MPC, phosphate, sour, Wasit, Fadhili, Karan, Jazan, refinery, refineries, Sabic, Mosaic.

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Automated remelt program for sulphur pipelines

Summary

Pentair Thermal Management has recently introduced AUTO-Melt™, a unique approach for a safe and reliable automated remelt program for sulphur pipelines that does not require continuous operator assistance. This article provides the basic pipeline design requirements necessary to collect data that will allow an automated remelt program to be developed, and discusses the creation of a data-driven software platform which allows for fact-based decision making by pipeline operators when managing the pipeline in various flow regimes.

Abstract

The most critical issue in the performance and operational life of a sulphur pipeline is the safe and reliable remelt of solidified sulphur to re-establish flow. While most attention has historically been placed on assuring that the required pipeline maintenance temperature is achieved during normal operations, a failure to address the safe, reliable and repeatable remelting of the solidified sulphur in the pipeline could result in a plant shutdown due to a pipeline rupture or damage from excessive movement and/or pipe anchor failures. In the worst case scenario, the rupture could cause a serious event such as hot liquid sulphur being discharged from the pipeline – resulting in damage to the environment and even the possible loss of life. The current best practice is to employ skilled operators (who may or may not be specially trained) to manage the remelt program. Keywords: sulphur, pipeline, remelt, AUTO-Melt, liquid sulphur, flow, fibre optic technology, skin-effect heat management, pre-insulated pipe, algorithm, software, plug, maintenance, data management, distributed sensing techniques, Pentair Thermal Management

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Maximising sulphuric acid plant profitability

Summary

Optimising plant profitability has always been an important aspect of operating any sulphuric acid plant. The current environment of low prices for sulphuric acid as well as the majority of products sold by acid producers, such as metals and commodity chemicals, makes optimisation of plant performance even more important to keep the business competitive. Acid producers can improve their competitive advantage in a variety of ways, including: reducing operational expenditures, increasing capacity and increasing on stream times.

Abstract

With historically low prices on both sulphuric acid, commodity chemicals and metals, the pressure is high on acid plant operators to reduce costs and improve profitability. Reducing cost can be achieved in a number of different ways. In this article, we focus on plant upgrades, energy efficiency improvements, raising output and optimising the strategies for how the catalyst is chosen and operated. Keywords: Keywords: sulphuric acid, plant performance, profitability, plant upgrade, equipment, NORAM, energy efficiency, catalyst, catalytic converter, acid tower, acid cooler, piping, energy recovery, increased capacity, metallurgical acid plants, SO2 supplementation, Outotec, HEROS, SO2 emissions, MECS, pressure drop, dust protection catalyst, strong feed gas, power consumption, scrubbing costs, caesium catalyst, Haldor Topsoe.

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The benefit of using titania in Claus and tail gas catalysis

Summary

Euro Support has developed and commercially produced a titania supported Claus tail gas hydrogenation catalyst designed specifically to operate at temperatures below 240°C in low temperature Claus TGTU systems. B. Hereijgers, P. van Nisselrooij, B. van de Giessen, and M. van Hoeke of Euro Support BV discuss the performance and benefits of this catalyst which has been tested under numerous conditions and compared with its commercially available alumina-based counterpart. In addition to significantly improved low temperature performance, the titania-based tail gas hydrogenation catalyst offers significant operational benefits in terms of start-up, resistance to gas contaminants and lifetime.

Abstract

The modified Claus process is utilised worldwide to produce elemental sulphur by partial oxidation of H2S. It consists of a high temperature combustion stage and a series of low temperature catalytic stages. In addition to H2S and SO2, sulphur is also present in the form of COS and CS2 in the Claus process. COS and CS2 are formed in the furnace from CO and hydrocarbons and flow downstream to the catalytic reactors. In order to recover sulphur from these components, they need to be hydrolysed on the catalyst surface. CS2 is more difficult to hydrolyse than COS. Keywords: Claus tail gas treating, Euro Support, alumina, titania, catalyst, methyl mercaptan, low temperature tail gas hydrogenation catalyst, in-situ sulphiding, presulphiding, catalyst activation, cobalt and molybdenum oxides, CoMo, mercaptan, CS2 hydrolysis, O2 ingress, catalyst lifetime

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