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The ultimate Claus plant reheat system

Summary

No longer is the conventional converter reheater an essential component of a Claus sulphur recovery unit. Siirtec NIGI has developed a simpler and more elegant reheat system in which the process gas is directly reheated in the catalytic converters. Gennaro Perego, Technology Business Manager and Lorenzo Micucci, Manager of Process Design at SiiRTEC NIGI introduce the new technology, which has been named ClauSini™.

Abstract

ClauSini™ is a new Claus plant technology in which the traditional Claus converter reheaters are replaced by a catalytic reheat system where the process gas is directly reheated in the catalytic converters. This is accomplished by adding a small amount of air to the process gas as it enters the Claus converter and passing the resultant mixture over a combination of catalysts consisting of an upper layer, which engenders reheat of the gas and a lower layer, which promotes the conventional Claus reactions. Besides the technical and economic advantages of not needing separate reheaters, the combined process chemistry results in improved CS2 conversion and has the added advantage of control of the H2S/SO2 ratio in the converters to suit any existing tail gas unit. Retrofit of an existing facility with ClauSini™ is straightforward and should result in significant operating and energy savings.

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Deadline for desulphurisation

Summary

The first deadline for Tier 2 rules on lower sulphur levels in road fuels was looming as the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association held its Annual conference in San Antonio during late March. Refiners were facing a need for quick decisions, reports Chris Cunningham.

Abstract

If last year’s centenary gathering of the NPRA was an opportunity to pause and look to the past of the organisation, the 101st Annual meeting in San Antonio in late March could be seen as a point of no return. The next time US refiners gather for their principal jamboree, they will be a few months into the Tier 2 era which, within two years, will require them to produce and sell gasoline with a sulphur content no greater than 50 parts per million (ppm).

If refiners who have yet to make firm plans to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations want to continue as producers of road fuels, then spring 2003 was about their last chance to commit their futures.

In a meeting with the press before the meeting’s multi-stream sessions of presentations got under way, the NPRA’s president, Bob Slaughter, and chairman, Duane Gilliam, set out the challenges refiners faced in the year ahead. As far as Tier 2 was concerned, there was little change on last year, with the estimate of industry- wide spending on the current round of desulphurisation standing at around $16 billion.

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Enhanced sulphur recovery

Summary

Sub-dewpoint Claus tail gas treating is used extensively to achieve sulphur recoveries of more than 99%. Lisa Connock discusses sub-dewpoint tail gas processes with respect to design, operation and their capabilities.

Abstract

Waste acid gas streams, containing hydrogen sulphide (H2S), are a major source of pollution in refining, petrochemical and gas processing industries. To meet environmental control regulations in these industries, Sulphur Recovery Units (SRUs) are installed to convert the H2S in the waste acid gas streams into sulphur product.

In addition, there is an increasing worldwide awareness to improve air quality, therefore new SRUs with enhanced sulphur recovery efficiency are needed despite the currently prevailing depressed sulphur market conditions.

Typical sources of hydrogen sulphide are acid gases from amine regeneration units and sour water stripping units. The modified Claus process has been used extensively to recover sulphur from these gases. However, this process can achieve typically up to 97% sulphur recovery for a three-stage configuration. With new pollution control requirements and the increasing awareness about ambient air quality, sulphur recovery efficiency of approximately 99% or higher is required and hence alternative processes have to be explored.

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An attractive process for producing ULS products

Summary

UniPure has developed a novel oxidative desulphurisation process for ultra-low sulphur products. The ASR-2 process, which will be commercialised in 2003, is significantly less costly than conventional facilities in similar service and will have applications in refineries, stand-alone plants and remediation of off-spec fuels at product terminals.

Abstract

Europe and North America are aggressively introducing ultralow sulphur (ULS) transportation fuels, with sulphur levels of 10 to 50 ppm. In several European countries, tax incentives will begin driving the introduction of 10-ppm sulphur fuels next year. These requirements have caused refiners, distributors and marketers to evaluate technology options that can enable them to meet the new regulations cost-effectively.

Last year UniPure announced its breakthrough ASR-2 fuels desulphurisation process, based on oxidation chemistry. This novel process converts low sulphur gasoline and automotive gasoil (diesel) fuel to ultra-low sulphur products at costs substantially lower than for a new hydrotreater.

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