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Sulphur as a fertilizer and fungicide

Summary

The small particle size and hydrophilic properties of biosulphur and iron redox based sulphur make it attractive for agricultural uses, both as a soil fertilizer and as a fungicide. Lisa Connock reports.

Abstract

Sulphur has been recognised as an essential element for plants for more than two centuries, but only in the last decades has sulphur deficiency emerged in agricultural crops.

Sulphur is regarded as a secondary nutrient even though plant requirements for sulphur are equal to and sometimes exceed those for phosphorus. However, sulphur is recognised as one of the major nutrients essential for plant growth, root nodule formation of legumes and plants protection mechanisms.

In organic production sulphur is the most important fungicide used. Moreover, it is the only fungicide in organic apple production for the main disease apple scab under colder conditions. Sulphur is also a major fungicide in conventional culture of grapes, strawberries, many vegetables and several other crops. It has a good efficacy against a wide range of ­powdery mildew diseases. Sulphur is one of the oldest pesticides used in agriculture.

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Knowing your temperatures

Summary

As the trend for oxygen enrichment continues and Claus reaction furnaces operate ever closer to their thermal limits, accurate and reliable temperature monitoring in the furnace becomes more critical. Lisa Connock and Jim Hyne report on a round table discussion, held at Sulphur 2004, to identify how important temperature measurement in the SRU is and where we fail.

Abstract

Modern design of Claus SRU re­action furnaces requires selection and operation of equipment and instrumentation with a high deg­ree of accuracy and reliability. With the trend for production of more sulphur from processing crude oil and sour natural gas, and with more ammonia production expected from certain crudes, existing and new SRUs will be required to handle the increased loads of hydrogen sulphide and ammonia. Oxygen enrichment will be applied in many locations. The Claus furnaces will be pushed to their thermal limit and measurement of these higher furnace temperatures with accuracy and reliability will be critical for long-term reliable and safe operations.

At Sulphur 2004, a round table session on the measurement of high temperatures in aggressive atmospheres took place and provided a lively and informative discussion on the importance of accurate temperature measurement and effective control in a number of process units in Claus sulphur recovery plants.

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Improved temperature measurement

Summary

At Sulphur 2004, Steve Croom of Delta Controls discussed new technology for reliable, long term Claus furnace temperature measurement in the range 1650 C to 1925 C. Measurement of these very high temperatures can now be achieved with a combination of a well-proven, specialised, purged thermocouple assembly and a new infrared system.

Abstract

A specialised thermocouple as­sem­bly known as the HTP Claus reaction furnace thermocouple, introduced over 35 years ago, has evolved into a very successful self diagnostic unit, installed in Claus furnaces throughout the world. To meet the demands of oxygen enrichment, it now offers the capability to measure temperatures up to 1925 °C.

In recent years, a new infrared transmitter has been developed to supplement the HTP thermocouple device. For oxygen enrichment operations, the combined system (thermocouple and infrared) is claimed to provide the best available temperature measurement technique available for Claus service (Fig. 1).

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ATCO's gas sweetening experience

Summary

ATCO Midstream's Lo-Cat unit in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, has provided a highly reliable service for over 12 years. Recent enhancements have been made to handle odours, improve performance and prevent plugging. Neil McCagherty (ATCO Area Superintendent), Gary Gialet (ATCO Plant Supervisor) and Dave Graubard (Gas Technology Products LLC Business Development Engineer) present an operating history of the plant.

Abstract

ATCO Midstream (ATCO) works with natural gas producers to gather, process, and store their natural gas and extract liquids. The ATCO Lo-Cat unit, located in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada at the Car­bondale plant, has provided highly reliable service for over 12 years. The unit has continuously produced sweet gas at or below the minimum local requirement for H2S emissions. ATCO is very pleased with the performance of the Lo-Cat unit, and expects many more years of Lo-Cat operation at its St. Albert plant.

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