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Publication > Issue > Articles

The digital world of sulphuric acid

Summary

Simulator engines have come a long way from their humble beginnings. In this article Chemetics, Haldor Topsoe, Noram and Outotec report on some of the latest developments and applications of simulation and modelling to improve the profitability, design and operation of sulphuric acid plants.

Abstract

Process simulator programs have been widely adopted in chemical plant designs during the last two decades and the sulphuric acid industry is no different. Plant modelling using process simulators is an indispensable tool for process engineers, plant engineers and designers. Keywords: sulphuric acid, simulator, simulation, modelling, troubleshooting, debottlenecking, regen sulphuric acid, metallurgical acid, catalyst preheat, mixing, sulphuric acid catalyst, converter, operator training, dynamic simulation, caesium catalyst, cesium, Cs promoted catalyst, transient simulations, digital, start-up, purging, dynamic training, Chemetics, Topsoe, NORAM, Outotec, PORS, RoasterOptimizer

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Combustion challenges in the reaction furnace

Summary

The overall performance of the modified Claus process is, for a large part, determined by the design and operation of the main burner and reaction furnace. In this article Duiker examines some important performance aspects of the reaction furnace; Siirtec Nigi reports on the benefits of its improved SRU thermal section; Blasch discusses its latest developments for SRU reaction furnace internals; and Jacobs introduces Temp-Protect, a useful tool for better temperature monitoring in the reaction furnace.

Abstract

The desulphurisation of fossil fuels produces large amounts of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas, which is mostly treated in the modified Claus process to recover elemental sulphur. In the thermal stage of the Claus process H2S gas is partially combusted with air by a main burner, resulting in a flame with a temperature in the range of 900 to 1,400°C. The thermal stage is crucial to the overall performance of the modified Claus process, not only producing the majority of the sulphur but also ensuring the destruction of impurities (in cases where hydrocarbons or ammonia must be handled) and minimising undesirable by-products such as carbon ­disulphide (CS2). Keywords: reaction furnace, combustion, thermal section, Duiker, Blasch, Siirtec Nigi, Jacobs, ASRL, Temp-Protect, sulphur formation, ammonia destruction, hydrocarbon destruction, burner, CFD, modelling, high intensity burner, acid gas burner, checker wall, choke ring, HexWall, VectorWall, flame, vibration, pressure drop

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North African phosphates

Summary

North Africa continues to be a major growth area for sulphur demand. As well as the continuing expansion of OCP's phosphate processing capacity there are also new projects in Tunisia and Egypt, and potentially also Algeria.

Abstract

North Africa is to the world’s phosphate industry what the Middle East is to the oil industry – while it is an important producer and exporter, it is even more important because of the share of global reserves that it contains. Global phosphate reserves are not as well characterised as oil, and subject to sometimes huge revisions, the two most recent of which have come this century. Keywords: JORF LASFAR, OCP, ALGERIA, TUNISIA, EGYPT, MOROCCO, DAP, MAP, AMMONIUM, PHOSPHORIC, ACID, ROCK, MINING, MINE

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The centre of the sulphur world?

Summary

Tapping of sour gas fields and continuing refinery expansions will see the Middle East continue to become increasingly dominant on the sulphur export scene over the next few years.

Abstract

Over the next five years, annual global sulphur production is forecast to increase by about 10 million tonnes, and more than 50% of this growth will be in the Middle East. New refinery capacity and continuing expansions of sour gas production in order to provide power to rapidly increasing populations will drive this increase, and in spite of some increases in phosphate processing which will lead to new demand in Saudi Arabia, most of this extra sulphur seems destined to find its way onto global markets. Keywords: IRAN, BAHRAIN, KUWAIT, SAUDI ARABIA, ABU DHABI, UAE, QATAR, EXPORT, SOUR GAS, REFINING, REFINERY, RUWAIS, HABSHAN, SHAH, MAADEN, MA’ADEN

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