Sulphur Technology Tutorial Conventional Wisdom and Innovative Frontiers

Fuels and Petrochemicals Division
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 29, 2013 - 1:30pm-2:45pm

This tutorial will provide a brief overview of conventional sulphur recovery, tail gas treating and sulphur degassing technologies which are routinely employed to achieve environmental and operational requirements.  The intent is to provide participants with a broad understanding of the types of processes which are available, and how they are typically applied, as a foundation for exploring possibilities for improvements upon these traditional practices.

Following the review of conventional technologies, an exploration of some recently-developed, innovative technologies will be undertaken.  The technical and commercial merits of each new technology will be compared to conventional technologies, and the advantages / disadvantages will be explored.  Examples of some of the new technologies to be presented include: 

  • SMARTSULF – this technology applies the sub-dewpoint principle, which is widely-known to increase sulphur recovery efficiencies in the SRU due to operation of the Claus reactors at lower temperatures, which increases the extent of the exothermic Claus process.  The SMARTSULF technology further improves sulphur recovery through the use of internally-cooled reactors, which further reduce catalyst bed temperatures and therefore increase sulphur recovery efficiency.
  • Low Temperature Tail Gas Oxidation Process – with this technology, the conventional fuel gas fired incineration process is omitted and indigenous hydrogen and carbon monoxide in SRU tail gas are consumed in a catalytic oxidation process, avoiding additional fuel consumption.
  • In-Situ Sulfur Degassing Process – this technology removes the dissolved H2S present in Claus-produced sulfur within the sulfur condenser itself, as opposed to external, conventional degassing methods, which may require additional plot space, utility consumption and/or which may pose HSE concerns.
  • RSR Production of Elemental Sulphur from SO2 – this technology converts post-combustion SO2 into an elemental sulphur product, rather requiring H2S as the feed to the sulphur production process.  The technology combines two well-established processes: 1) reaction of CH4 and sulphur vapor to produce CS2, followed by 2) catalytic hydrolysis of CS2 to H2S, along with Claus reaction of H2S and SO2 to form elemental sulphur.
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