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Publication > Issue > Articles

Sulphur storage – environmental considerations

Summary

The long-term storage of sulphur can lead to fugitive dust and sulphuric acid contamination of ground and water if not handled correctly. What are the risks and how can they be ameliorated?

Abstract

While sulphur is a very safe material, its handling and storage, especially for long periods, can produce potential health and especially environmental hazards. How to manage and ameliorate these hazards is a problem that the sulphur industry has grappled with for decades, and will continue to do so for as long as sulphur is generated in areas too remote for it to be conveniently shipped to market. Keywords: Claus, sulphide, H2S, dust, surfactant, handling, fire, explosion, weathering, bacteria, acid, lime, hydroxide, soil, contaminant, contaminate, acidity, block, limestone, calcium, concrete, stucco, asphalt, runoff, leach

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Countdown to MARPOL

Summary

The new IMO MARPOL (Maritime Pollution) 0.5% limit on sulphur content of marine fuel is due to come into force on January 1st 2020. This article looks at the likely consequences for refiners, ship owners and the sulphur industry.

Abstract

While regulations on sulphur content of fuel have been tightening progressively around the world for the past three decades, by far the biggest single reduction that the industry has seen is due to come into force on January 1st next year, when the maximum permissible sulphur content of marine bunker fuels will fall from 3.5% to 0.5% by weight. Keywords: emissions, ECA, SO2, dioxide, bunker, scrub, scrubber, compliance, VLSFO, LSFO, HSFO, gasoil, MGO, residue

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Sulphuric acid markets – shifting fundamentals

Summary

Declining imports of acid from China and increasing demand from Morocco, and eventually the Philippines and Peru are coming at the same time as the prospects of China becoming a net exporter.

Abstract

The sulphuric acid market has been through a turbulent year in 2019. The end of 2018 saw prices at high levels, with acid markets ending the year very tight, and many volumes from major suppliers like South Korea and Japan already committed into 2019. Chilean smelters went through a series of shutdowns at the end of 2018 and into early 2019 to bring them into compliance with new SO2 emissions regulations in the country. Keywords: Peru, Chile, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, ore, concentrate, smelter, leach, copper, nickel

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A review of AGIS VIII

Summary

The Acid Gas Injection Symposium (AGIS) is the only conference that focuses on the injection of CO2, H2S, and mixtures of the two either for disposal or for enhanced oil recovery. The eighth symposium was held in Calgary at the end of September 2019. Although AGIS covers three technologies: (1) acid gas injection (AGI), (2) carbon capture and storage (CCS), and (3) the use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), in this review Y. Wu of Sphere Technology Connection and J. J. Carroll of Gas Liquids Engineering focus on the AGI aspects of the Symposium.

Abstract

Acid gas injection (AGI) is basically a process where the acid gas by-product from the upgrading of raw natural gas is compressed to enough pressure where it can be transported via pipeline and injected into a subsurface formation typically for disposal. Keywords: acid gas injection, AGI, Gas Liquids Engineering, Sphere Technology Connection, acid gas water content, China, Tahe oilfield, Kaybob plant, leak detection, acid gas pipelines, blow out recovery, acid gas well, seismic data, reciprocating compressors, salt precipitation, CO2 injection well, sulphur viscosity, CO2 solubility, CO2 measurement, amine solutions, DMPEG, acid gas system, injection well design

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BTX destruction in the Claus thermal oxidiser

Summary

Acid gas enrichment (AGE) is a commonly employed technique that can be used to increase the H2S content of acid gases being fed to a sulphur recovery unit (SRU). In some cases, the AGE vent gas, enriched in CO2, is routed directly to the thermal oxidiser. If the lean acid gas being enriched contains appreciable levels of benzene, toluene, and/or xylene (BTX), it is possible for BTX to slip through the amine of the AGE, along with the CO2, and be fed to the thermal oxidiser. However, experimental data pertaining to conditions required for BTX destruction within the thermal oxidiser are lacking. In this context, ASRL has investigated the impact of various BTX concentrations in the thermal oxidiser. D. Li, N. I. Dowling, C. B. Lavery and R. A. Marriott of Alberta Sulphur Research Ltd discuss the experiments and the results.

Abstract

Keywords: benzene, toluene, xylene, BTX, thermal oxidiser, acid gas enrichment, AGE, lean acid gas, BTX destruction, ammonia slip, sour water, stripping process, residence time, BTX conversion, Alberta Sulfur Research Ltd, ASRL

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Modular acid plant SAP250M

Summary

T. Schüller of Outotec provides insight into Outotec's strategic initiative to provide the sulphuric acid industry with a standardised modular sulphur burning sulphuric acid plant, based on Outotec's recent contract execution experience for a similar project in Central Africa.

Abstract

SAP250M plant philosophy Sulphuric acid process The SAP250M modular sulphuric acid plant is based on the combustion of liquid sulphur and considers the double absorption/double conversion (DA/DC) process consisting of four catalyst beds (3+1) with the intermediate absorption tower designed downstream of the third catalyst bed. This configuration was selected to achieve high process efficiency and satisfactory environmental considerations. Keywords: modular, sulphuric acid plant, modularisation concept, SAP250M, Outotec, sulphur melting, sulphur handling, plant layout, sulphur filtration, sulphur feed, sulphur storage, sulphur combustion, waste heat boiler, acid cooling, drying tower, absorption tower, DCS, emissions, effluents

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New plant design using modular SolvR® scrubbing system

Summary

G. Palmquist and B. Blair of DuPont Clean Technologies describe how a holistic plant design using a modular scrubbing system can optimise emissions, energy recovery and operating costs of sulphuric acid production.

Abstract

Conventional sulphuric acid plant flow schemes result in a complex web of equipment. When heat recovery systems and other technologies are added, the layout of the interconnected equipment becomes quite complicated. This is the natural outcome when systems are designed for their individual purpose rather than in an integrated way that aims to achieve efficiency and optimisation. Keywords: sulphuric acid plant, scrubbing system, SolvR, MAX3, single absorption sulphuric acid plant, heat recovery system, HRS, regenerative SO2 scrubbing, energy recovery, modular SolvR, SteaMax, operating costs, capital costs, SO2 emissions, DuPont Clean Technologies

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New plant design using modular SolvR® scrubbing system

Summary

G. Palmquist and B. Blair of DuPont Clean Technologies describe how a holistic plant design using a modular scrubbing system can optimise emissions, energy recovery and operating costs of sulphuric acid production.

Abstract

Conventional sulphuric acid plant flow schemes result in a complex web of equipment. When heat recovery systems and other technologies are added, the layout of the interconnected equipment becomes quite complicated. This is the natural outcome when systems are designed for their individual purpose rather than in an integrated way that aims to achieve efficiency and optimisation. Keywords: sulphuric acid plant, scrubbing system, SolvR, MAX3, single absorption sulphuric acid plant, heat recovery system, HRS, regenerative SO2 scrubbing, energy recovery, modular SolvR, SteaMax, operating costs, capital costs, SO2 emissions, DuPont Clean Technologies

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Biological SRU under turndown conditions

Summary

XTO Energy's East Texas natural gas operations operate a skid built biological desulphurisation unit (Thiopaq O&G) to treat amine acid gas from an AGRU unit which removes CO2 and H2S from sour gases gathered from approximately 800 wells. It was found that the SRU showed continued strong performance in dealing with significant turndown of the feed gas flow rate (30% of design) and sulphur load (17% of design). J. Klok, R. de Rink, G. van Heeringen, J. Timmerman of Paqell B.V. and P. Shaunfield of XTO Energy Inc. discuss the operational data and lessons learned from recent years of operation.

Abstract

Natural gas has been processed and used as a clean, reliable energy source for decades. Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in natural gas is undesired and its bulk removal traditionally takes place by the application of physicochemical processes such as the AGRU-Claus-TGTU train. Keywords: biological desulphurisation, XTO Energy, XTO3, Thiopaq O&G, Paqell, amine acid gas, sour gas, turndown, SRU, lessons learned, absorption, regeneration, sulphur recovery

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