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09:00 - 12:30
Workshop: Sulphur Recovery

Hosted by Optimised Gas Treating

Workshop Overview

In sour gas processing, the sulphur plant itself is highly inter-dependent on upstream and downstream gas processing units such as acid gas removal (AGR) and enrichment (AGE), tail gas treating (TGT), and sour water stripping (SWS).  Experimenting with full-size production plants to improve understanding of process behaviour can be a career limiting learning process.  However, process simulators have become increasingly realistic.  With the availability of mass transfer rate based simulation of gas processing, and the recent introduction of a first principles based sulphur plant simulator, it is now possible to convert an entire gas treatment facility into a virtual plant.  Today, simulation allows real understanding to be gained by doing precisely what cannot be done in the plant—experimentation.  The workshop is designed to dissect and understand several broad aspects of modern sulphur recovery.


Workshop Objectives

The workshop is designed to help you gain more in-depth understanding of Claus-type SRUs and improve their performance through:

  • Studying feed preparation techniques in controlling H2S quality, hydrocarbons and NH3 content,
  • Controlling combustion air and understand the importance of the air demand analyser,
  • Evaluating how tail gas clean-up directly affects SRU performance, and
  • Understanding the kinetics of thermal reactions in the furnace and WHB, optimising catalytic converters, sizing and rating sulphur condensers, and dealing with sulphur storage, handing and degassing.


Who Should Attend

The workshop is intended for

  • Engineers relatively new to gas treating and sulphur recovery
  • Technical managers and engineers engaged in plant design, production, troubleshooting and revamps of process units in acid gas removal and sulphur production
  • Process equipment suppliers, particularly of towers used in gas treating and catalyst vendors


Workshop Contents

A one-half day, hands-on workshop using process simulation software and covering the topics:

  • Thermal Reaction: contaminant destruction (NH3, BTEX, hydrocarbons); the evil step cousins – CS2, COS, and trace sulphur; oxygen enrichment; Waste Heat Boiler recombination reactions and heat flux implications
  • Sulphur Condensers: equipment design & rating; H2S/H2SX/SO2 solubility; entrainment
  • Catalytic Conversion: optimal operating temperature; catalyst selection; COS/CS2 conversion vs. Claus reaction; modelling SOR vs. EOR conditions
  • Sulphur Storage, Handling, and Degassing: sulphur viscosity, product quality, H2S degassing
  • Tail Gas Clean-up: effect of NH3 and SO2 on quench column and amine system performance;        EOR design and operation considerations

A limited number of laptop computers will be provided, restricting the hands-on aspect of the workshop to a maximum of 20 participants.  

09:00 - 12:30
Workshop: Efficient project management: A history of project controls from early systems to state-of-the-art

Hosted by SNC Lavalin

Workshop Overview

In today’s world, it seems that bigger is better.  This certainly appears to be the case with engineering projects where each new process plant is larger than the last.  One of the drivers of expanding project sizes is from economies of scale.  This is quite often the case as the cost of capital equipment rarely doubles for a doubling of the capacity.

However, with larger projects come larger cost, schedule and technical risks that must be addressed by the project owners and the project management team.  To effectively manage these project risks a robust project control system, which ties together the activities of all the players, is required for the successful execution of the project.

During this year’s workshop, our in-house project controls experts will lead you through the development of project control systems and illustrate basic systems suitable for small projects and studies through to the complex multi-faceted systems required for today’s multi-billion dollar projects.

SNC-Lavalin will be presenting an overview of the components of project management that play a significant role in the planning, execution, reporting, analysis and advancement of project objectives.  We will walk you through lessons learned through out various industries and how the application of these lessons learned have resulted in systems that can assist in managing  the common areas of project risk.

Workshop Objectives

This workshop will:
Provide practical insights to owners and project managers on state-of-the-art tools for managing risks and achieving successful projects.
Assist in development of execution strategies
Understanding data analytics for decision making

Who Should Attend
Project Investors
Contract Managers
Project Managers and Stakeholders
Operations Managers

14:00 - 17:30
Workshop: HAZOP’s in sulphuric acid plants

This year’s sulphuric acid workshop will focus on various accepts of the process safety management and the HAZOP process as it applies to the sulphuric acid process and production.  The Workshop will include the scientific methodology and the regulatory obligations, and look into several sulphuric acid incidents that were not addressed by these reviews.  We will look into the reasons why the HAZOP process did not produce the desired results.

The session will include presentations that will be geared towards practicing engineers with various degrees of exposure to the sulphuric acid process, plant operation, and plant maintenance.  The Workshop’s objective is to assist engineers in evaluating the operation and the maintenance of their plants.  It is necessary for engineers involved in plant operations to fully understand the variety of issues.  Following the presentations, there will be a panel discussion providing participants an opportunity to have their questions answered by our distinguished panel of experts in the industry.

Rick Davis, President, Davis & Associates Consulting Inc.
Jim Dougherty, Process Engineer, The Mosaic Company
Herbert Lee, Sales Manager – Sulphuric Acid, Chemetics
Leonard Friedman, President, Acid Engineering & Consulting, Inc.

09:00 - 10:30
Keynote session: Upstream market fundamentals

09:00 - 09:30
Oil and gas market outlook
- What are the implications of the current oil price on global markets?
- How are refinery outputs changing globally?
- How will refineries processing sour crude be affected?
- What projects are most likely to impacted?
James Preciado, Liquid Fuel Markets Team Leader, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

09:30 - 10:00
Tipping the scales? How is the surplus in both supply and demand sectors impacting the market?
- Has the risk of long lived sulphur surpluses already passed?
- How has the lower for longer oil price environment influence investment in future sulphur producing projects?
- What impact has fertilizer market oversupply had on sulphur demand?
- What are the key drivers of sulphur prices over the coming years?
Dr Peter Harrisson, Senior Consultant - Sulphur & Sulphuric Acid, CRU
10:00 - 10:30
Sulphuric acid market outlook
- How long can the surge in demand growth for traded acid from the metals leaching sector continue?
- When and where will new smelting capacity enter the market?
- How will the disparity between fertilizer and metal market price strength influence the acid market price?
Brendan Daly, Sulphur Markets Editor, CRU

11:00 - 12:30
Session 2: Primary market outlooks

11:00 - 11:30
Phosphate market outlook
- What are the short-term demand factors currently shaping the phosphates market?
- How is increasing phosphate fertilizer capacity, and subsequent pressure on prices impacting future sulphur demand?
- How has the industry cost structure changed given recent higher raw material prices?
- Regional spotlights on India and China
- What impact will the delay of certain projects have on prices over the medium term?
Alexander Derricott, Consultant - Phosphates, CRU

11:30 - 12:00
The Mosaic New Wales Sulphur Melting project: Delivery approach
- How long can the surge in demand growth for traded acid from the metals leaching sector continue?
- When and where will new smelting capacity enter the market?
- How will the disparity between fertilizer and metal market price strength influence the acid market price?
Thomas Dombroski, Senior Manager, Engineering, The Mosaic Company
12:00 - 12:30
The North American Acid landscape
NorFalco is one of North America's largest merchant marketers of sulfuric acid, responsible for the marketing and distribution of about 2 million tons of sulfuric acid per year. In this presentation, they will share their views on the current market and trade flows for North America.  
Kunal Sinha, CEO, NorFalco LLC

14:00 - 15:30
Session 3: Industry updates

14:00 - 14:30
IMO 2020: Exploring the impact of the global sulphur cap on marine fuels
- What will the implementation of IMO 2020 have on:
- The shipping market?
- The refining sector?
- What considerations were made when developing the regulation?
Professor James Corbett, Professor of Marine Policy, University of Delaware, Steering Committee Member, International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

14:30 - 15:00
Oil Market trends and the IMO 2020 Global Sulphur Cap
Olivier Kenter, Global Manager Oil Market Price - Shell Strategy, Shell

15:30 - 17:45
Session 4: Interactive panel discussion: Sulphur “This is your life”

This interactive panel discussion will reflect on the development of the sulphur and sulphuric acid industries over the past three decades, exploring how technology has developed to meet new emissions regulations; the overall global sulphur balance situation and subsequent impacts on sulphuric acid market.

Angie Slavens, Managing Director, UniverSUL Consulting
Lon Stern, Consultant, Stern, Inc.
Paul Davis, General Manager & Senior Research Scientist, Alberta Sulphur Research Ltd (ASRL)
Al Keller, Independent Consultant,
Michael Huffmaster, Consultant (Professional Engineer), Michael A. Huffmaster, PE, LLC
Jamie Swallow, President/CEO, Sulphur Experts
Elmo Nasato, President/Senior Process Consultant, Nasato Consulting
Robert Marriott, Director of Research, Alberta Sulphur Research Ltd (ASRL)
Randy Hauer, Sulphur Recovery Product Manager, AMETEK Process Instruments
Gene Goar, President, Goar Sulfur Services & Assistance

09:00 - 10:30
Sulphur stream: Achieving operational reliability and improvement

This session will share operational experience and allow delegates to learn practical approaches to ensure robust, reliable operations, and detail potential performance improvements. Approaches explored in the papers include benchmarking, simulation and troubleshooting.

09:00 - 09:30
An operators guide to achieving and maintaining high sulphur plant availability
Whilst working for one of the world's major oil companies, in 2002, the author inherited a system of 14 refineries with a combined Solomon Availability of 85% and was charged by business management with sorting this out and making sulphur unit availability less of a performance headline. The sulphur plant is defined as being the sour water strippers, amine regenerators, claus units and tail gas treating units. The author headed a team to set about doing this, using a variety of evaluation techniques to determine where general issues were a barrier to success and where specific improvements were needed to deal with individual issues from each site. Unsurprisingly, and hand in hand with unacceptable availability, the company was having significant numbers of environmental emissions exceedances and a number of personal safety incidents. 

By 2009, availability had improved to 93%, environmental excursions reduced to a handful per year and personal safety incidents eliminated completely and when a major technology upgrade was applied to the final site in 2013, availability reached 96% and there were no environmental exceedances. This record was maintained through to the end of 2015 and has remained intact after my departure.

The use of benchmarking, inter-business help, defining standards for operations, technical, projects and turnarounds as well as making the journey to becoming a learning organisation were very important factors in firstly achieving but then maintaining the performance level.

This paper and presentation will discuss what worked well in making this improvement, identify some items that didn't work so well and offer explanations as to why this was so. 
Gordon Finnie, Director, Finnie Engineering

09:30 - 10:00
Solving three common Problems with SRU simulation
Small operational issues in the Sulphur Recovery Unit (SRU) can into production loss—or worse, a frustrating and costly shutdown. Simulation of the SRU can enable more reliable operations, less shutdown through prevention of issues and quick and effective troubleshooting.

In this presentation, we would like to present three common case studies were operational issues were present and how simulation was used to prevent or quickly resolve the situation. This would be more like a training, using expertise from our services team and our service partners to show how real problems were solved using simulation.

The paper will also discuss new technology available with Sulsim including the new degasser model.
Joe Brindle, Senior Process Engineer, Sulphur Experts

Ya-Tang Chang, Product Manager, Aspen Technology

10:00 - 10:30
SCOT ULTRA: Introduction to the Next Generation SCOT (SHELL Claus Offgas Treating)
Due to ever increasing mandates to lower SO2 emissions and reducing assets margins, refiners and gas plant operators are always looking for ways to lower their operating cost of their tail gas treatment units (TGTU).

The development of the Shell SCOT ULTRA process enables improved profitability, e.g. reduction of the operating cost of both existing and new TGTU’s. This is realized through:

    • Application of the new C-834 SCOT catalyst (developed by Criterion Catalyst and Technologies), which allows operation at lower temperatures
    • In combination with joint developed Shell-Huntsman’s JEFFTREAT ULTRA solvent.
The benefits of converting existing TGTU’s to the SCOT ULTRA configuration will be illustrated through a number of case studies, showing improved profitability, due to:

    • Reduced solvent circulation rate
    • Reduced energy consumption
In addition, the new JEFFTREAT ULTRA solvent is able to maintain high H2S absorption at higher temperatures with improved CO2 slip, thereby making this solution very applicable for warmer climates, where typically solvent chilling would be required to meet solvent performance.
Marco Van Son, Technical Manager Sulfur, Jacobs

09:00 - 10:30
Acid stream: Improving efficiency and reducing OPEX with novel plant designs

In today’s operating environment, increasing productivity while controlling OPEX and maintaining emissions control is paramount to success. This session will offer attendees to understand how new plant and technology designs can allow operators to do more for less – increasing capacity while controlling operational costs.  

09:00 - 09:30
Industrie 4.0 – Complementing or leading the way?
Outotec has been in the forefront of process and product development as well as project execution in the sulphuric acid industry for nearly a century and it is perhaps an opportune moment for us to look towards our second century and what this may bring for the industry as a whole.

The presentation will focus on what Outotec consider to be key trends for an acid plant that will be designed and delivered by us in our second century in existence. This will consider many aspects of today’s hot topics of conversation, including producing more for less (from a capex and opex point of view). The presentation will in particular focus on how we could potentially harness the power of digitalization (and what we believe this could mean for the acid industry in planning, operation and maintenance) as well considering the “driverless” plant.
Stefan Bräuner, Vice President - Sulphuric Acid, Off-gas & Roasting, Outotec GmbH & Co. KG

09:30 - 10:00
CORE™ - A new approach to acid plant design
The process to produce sulphuric acid has not changed much in the last 50 years as the industry has not readily accepted the benefits of new process concepts. The Chemetics CORE™ Isothermal Converter (Previously BAYQIK®) is now changing this mindset by offering a different concept for both plant expansions and newly built plants.

This paper will review the benefits achieved by the clients that have installed a CORE™ System in their sulphuric acid plant and will introduce the latest generation of the CORE™ System which allows for higher conversion and plant capacity at a lower cost.
Rene Dijkstra, Technology Manager, Chemetics
10:00 - 10:30
The next generation of sulphuric acid technology
For the sulfuric acid industry, compliance with emissions and effluent reduction targets - while balancing productivity and profitability - is becoming essential to survive these turbulent times. Previous approaches to simultaneously minimize capital expenditures (CAPEX), operating expenditures (OPEX), and emissions proved unsuccessful because of technology limitations. 

Producers were forced to make choices, selecting one benefit while accepting a negative consequence, either financial or environmentally.  But today, CAPEX, OPEX, and emissions cannot be dissociated because of an increasing global drive to minimize production costs and emissions together. These pervasive trends have heavily influenced research and development work at MECS over the past 6-8 years. MECS knew that a new approach was needed to solve these complicated problems, and started by reviewing all areas in a sulfuric acid plant that consume time, water and money, as well as all drivers of emissions, both liquid and gaseous.  The MECS R&D team has developed a novel approach that eliminates or at least reduces high consumers of time, water and money while also recovering more energy – all at best in class emissions.

The result is MAX3TM - a proprietary sulfuric acid plant technology that simplifies the conventional sulfuric acid plant flow scheme by combining a single absorption HRSTM plant with MECS’ SolvR® regenerative SO2 scrubbing technology. It eliminates equipment, cuts costs and increases efficiency. In a MAX3 TM plant, the use of SolvR® makes it possible to achieve close to zero SO2 emissions. SolvR® also improves operating flexibility, capital
and operating costs. It economically removes SO2 from gases with concentrations as low as 300 ppmv and as high as 50 vol%, reducing SO2 emissions below 30 ppmv. If even lower limits are required, additional regenerative steam can be used to reduce SO2 emissions below 10 ppmv.
e result is MAX3TM - a proprietary sulfuric acid plant technology that simplifies the conventional sulfuric acid plant flow scheme by combining a single absorption HRSTM plant with MECS’ SolvR® regenerative SO2 scrubbing technology. It eliminates equipment, cuts costs and increases efficiency. In a MAX3 TM plant, the use of SolvR® makes it possible to achieve close to zero SO2 emissions. SolvR® also improves operating flexibility, capital
and operating costs. It economically removes SO2 from gases with concentrations as low as 300 ppmv and as high as 50 vol%, reducing SO2 emissions below 30 ppmv. If even lower limits are required, additional regenerative steam can be used to reduce SO2 emissions below 10 ppmv.

This paper describes MECS’s research and development journey to develop MAX3™, from lab concept, to proven technology.
Garrett Palmquist, Vice PResident Business Development, MECS, Inc.

11:00 - 12:30
Sulphur stream: The reaction furnace and WHB: Guaranteeing robustness in the front end of the sulphur plant

The Waste Heat Boiler is a critical part of the sulphur plant, and maintaining reliable operation is crucial to ensuring positive plant economics. This session will give delegates a deep understanding of the design and operation of waste heat boilers and different operating scenarios in the front end reaction furnace. Operational experience and solutions to operational problems will be shared throughout.

11:00 - 11:30
Claus Waste Heat Boiler Economics – Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later?
At a time when up-time metrics and environmental constraints have become ever so more strict, refiners and gas producers have concurrently pushed towards processing higher sulphur feedstocks for margin advantage. These two competing objectives must both be met without failures; otherwise, economic objectives may not be met. In this paper, the economics of several Claus Waste Heat Boiler (WHB) designs are benchmarked in terms of:

- Reliability with corrosion and peak heat flux impacts on tube life
- Claus unit hydrogen production and potential savings in TGU make-up hydrogen
- Boiler equipment cost
- Claus unit combustion air blower power and SRU hydraulic capacity

Through a newly developed rate-based heat transfer and chemical reaction model of the Waste Heat Boiler, quantitative behavior of the WHB and how it subtly impacts SRU plant performance can be predicted based upon the recombination reactions that occur at the front of the WHB.

H2 + ½ S2 « H2S
CO + ½ S2 « COS

These reactions influence not only sulphur recovery, air demand, and hydrogen production in the SRU; they also impact the heat flux and performance of the WHB. These reactions occur towards the front (inlet) side of the WHB and are exothermic. The “hidden” heat associated with these reactions tends to increase heat flux towards the critical tube-to-tubesheet joint.

Radiative heat transfer, coupled with the exothermic recombination reactions, collectively increase the peak heat flux at the front of the boiler well above predictions from models that ignore or discount these factors. Tube wall temperatures, pressure drop, and heat flux predictions from the model are examined down the length of the tubes for oxygen-enriched vs. air-only operations. Elevated tube wall temperatures well downstream of the area protected by ceramic ferrules for the higher mass velocity cases is demonstrated, backing up documented failures in the industry. The implications of sulphidic corrosion and the resulting impact on boiler tube life and sulphur plant reliability economics are examined with this new information.
Simon Weiland, Development Engineer, Optimized Gas Treating

11:30 - 12:00
Reliability of boiler tube protection systems: A case study: air versus oxygen operation
Tubesheet linings are the most fragile refractory systems in the entire SRU and maintaining its reliability is essential for getting from one turnaround to another without unplanned outages.   The tubesheet protection (ferrule) system is designed to thermally protect the tubesheetand tube-to-tubesheet weld metallurgy from high temperature H2S corrosion.  The relationship between tubesheet lining failures and upsets in the process side has been the subject of numerous papers and this link to failure is intuitively obvious.   However, issues resulting from the WHB water/steam side are often overlooked and the result is chronic and catastrophic failures. 
Previous publications have presented a comprehensive review of robust of whb design and operation.
Operators often turn to oxygen enrichment to increase unit capacity.  Tubesheet lining problems are often the first symptom of a problem, regardless of origin (plant design, installation, operation and/or maintenance).    The authors will present a case study, looking at critical metal temperatures, process parameters of mass flux and differential pressure (dP) and steam side heat flux when operating under both air-based and oxygen-enriched conditions. 
Domenica Misale-Lyttle, Director of Technology, Industrial Ceramics
12:00 - 12:30
New flame scanner technology in sulphur recovery units
During combustion, energy is released in the form of electromagnetic radiation. The electromagnetic radiation is distributed over a wide spectrum, depending on the fuel type and is categorized by specific wavelengths. The ProFlame+SRU flame scanner converts this electromagnetic radiation into a measurable thermoelectric quantity and a corresponding thermal signature in accordance with established laws of physics. The ProFlame+SRU flame scanner uses two thermopiles to measure two different temperature points in the flame. This temperature differential is used to positively detect the H2S flame because it is a more reliable measure of a flame in an SRU than using strictly conventional photoelectric UV and IR detection. The temperature differential also provides a way to successfully discriminate the H2S flame versus the constant temperature of the hot refractory. If no flame is present, both sensors will be reading the stable heat from the refractory, and the system will register no flame. In other words, by measuring the difference in temperatures at two selected points within the flame envelope, the constant radiation source of the refractory tile can now be eliminated. 
Christopher Filoon, Director of Combustion Electronics, Zeeco, Inc.

11:00 - 12:30
Acid stream: Achieving cost savings and productivity increases through new catalyst developments and revamping strategies

In today’s operating environment, achieving optimum production rates while adhering to increasing emissions regulations is at the forefront of operational strategy. New catalysts can offer operators the ability to reduce operational cost while improving productivity and maintaining low emissions. Alternatively, revamps offer another option for significant production increases. This session will highlight both new catalyst and revamp case studies with a high degree of operational experience shared.   

11:00 - 11:30
Cost-effective boost of plant performance with new LEAPS catalysts for SO₂ oxidation
The profitability of sulfuric acid production is closely related to the production rates achievable within SO2 emission limits. The optimal operating conditions of a plant depend strongly on the plant configuration, catalyst volumes and catalyst activities, and as SO2 emission limits are tightened, more active sulfuric acid catalysts are required to maintain the desired production rates.
In 2010, Haldor Topsoe launched a completely new and groundbreaking catalyst type, the VK-701 LEAP5™. This catalyst is designed and produced in a new way, and it offers performance which otherwise can only be obtained through rebuilding the acid plant or adding additional equipment. Since its introduction, clients have resorted to the VK-701 LEAP5™ to achieve higher production rates of acid and oleum, cope with new emission legislation and avoid costly revamps. In this paper, data from running installations will be presented to show how operators in different situations and parts of the world have benefitted from LEAP5™ catalysts to overcome their unique challenges to maximize the performance and profitability of their plants.
The further development of the LEAP5™ series for improved activity or for other applications builds on detailed knowledge gained through fundamental studies of the working sulfuric acid catalyst. New results from our advanced in-situ studies will be presented as an example of how fundamental knowledge, such as the dynamics and chemistry of the active melt on the carrier, has enabled us to develop a new LEAP5™ catalyst which is ready to be launched. This new catalyst, based on the proven LEAP5™ technology, has been optimized for higher activity at lower temperatures to bring the unprecedented LEAP5™ performance to even more plants. The new catalyst has the potential to help acid plant operators to reduce operational cost, cope with new emission demands, improve productivity and avoid expensive capex projects. In addition to these advantages, the excellent low-temperature activity of the catalyst provides additional plant flexibility and helps to reduce start-up emission peaks.
Mårten Granroth, Product Manager, Haldor Topsoe

11:30 - 12:00
New developments in BASF sulphuric acid catalysts
In this presentation, BASF will share current developments in its new sulfuric acid catalyst geometry, the Quattro. Attendees will have a chance to see lab results compared to a recent commercial trial at a sulfur-burning plant in Europe. The encouraging results show the impact of catalyst geometry on catalyst performance.
More than a hundred years ago, BASF developed catalysts for oxidation of SO2 to SO3 containing vanadium pentoxide and alkali metal oxides on a porous, silica-containing support. While these catalysts are still used for industrial production of sulfuric acid today, current market conditions and environmental regulations require sulfuric acid producers to look for ways to be more efficient and reduce their SO2 emissions.
By choosing the appropriate catalyst geometry, producers can achieve a considerable improvement in catalyst bed performance. Finding the right balance between available surface area – which influences catalyst activity – and mechanical strength is essential.
Christopher Rausch, Technology Manager, Americas, BASF
12:00 - 12:30
Sulfur Melter Hygiene Is Ob(li)vious
The process of melting and filtering sulfur results in the generation of H2S, SO2 and sulfur vapor. Since this process is normally situated outdoors, the smell of rotten eggs (H2S) and the discharge of sulfur dust to the surroundings have been accepted norms. However, as awareness of PM 2.5 increases and housekeeping and hygiene become more important, this once minor nuisance will become more important. It is well known that sulfur vapors in the off gas will condense to a fine particulate in the scrubber. So, for this application, the clear choice was for a non-plugging, solids tolerant, DynaWave® scrubber. While the application seemed fairly straight forward, there were new lessons to be learned. These surprises will be discussed, along with solutions and the actual performance of the scrubber.
Steven Puricelli, MECS - DuPont Clean Technologies

14:00 - 16:00
Sulphur stream: Mitigating the impact of impurities and contaminants in the sulphur plant: Troubleshooting and lessons learned

Contaminants in feedstock can cause significant problems in the sulphur plants – leading to failures and unplanned shutdowns. This session will draw on several case studies of how to prevent and manage several contaminant scenarios to ensure operational stability and performance. Detailed insights on sour water stripping and ammonia destruction will be shared. The papers will share a mix of operational solutions and new research into the causes and potential treatment of impurities.

14:00 - 14:30
Preventing hydrocarbon carryover into the sulphur plant
It is understood the sulfur plant is a necessary component in refinery operations with a sour crude slate.  The sulfur plant enables the refinery to sell a sulfur and reduce emissions to comply with national, state and local regulations.. Hydrocarbons, such as methanol, BTEX and others have different flash points and BTU values other than the normal fuel gas. The burner in the sulfur plant requires a certain BTU range in order to burn efficiently. Poor burning of the acid gas can result in the emissions going off spec. Also, the sulfur produced from the sulfur plant must meet a color spectrum specification in order to be sold at market prices. Hydrocarbon discolors that as well and will reduce the market price of the sulfur. Thus hydrocarbon carryover into the sulfur plant becomes a serious concern. The source of the hydrocarbon carryover is almost exclusively from the amine treater. The sour water stripper mostly provides the sour gas and carries very little hydrcarbon to the sulfur plant

Since amine is derived from hydrocarbon, amine also has a high affinity for absorbing hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon that accumulates within amine treatment plants depend on the feed stock and how the amine system is configured in the flow scheme of the refinery. In our experience there could be lubrication oils from compressors, methanol from upstream processes and also included are light hydrocarbons, BTEX, and paraffins all coming from the gas feed.

The hydrocarbons that end up accumulating in the amine treater cause all sorts of interesting problems

Hydrocarbons cause foaming, burping and other upset conditions in the amine treater. The upset condition in the amine plant consequently causes amine and its absorbed hydrocarbon to be whisked away with the sour gas stream from the top of the regeneration tower in the amine system.  Hydrocarbon in the amine system is bad for the sulfur plant and the amine plant.

What can be done?

Typical mitigation for hydrocarbon:
1)    Skimming the HC from the flash drum due to different densities (this only works for some of the hydrocarbon ) 
2)    Knockout drums installed upstream of the amine treater and upstream of the sulfur plant
3)    Activated carbon
4)    Use better separation techniques employed ahead of the amine plant
5)    Other novel ways for removing hydrocarbon in the amine plant.
John Sczesny, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, MPR Services, Inc.

14:30 - 15:00
Intricacies of 2-stage sour water stripping process control: Lessons learned
Sour water containing dissolved hydrogen sulfide and ammonia is a ubiquitous waste stream in oil refining and some sour gas processing systems.  An on-going trend of increasing nitrogen content in crude oils, leading to increased ammonia and sour water production has sparked interest in the 2-stage sour water stripping process as a tool for managing the increasing ammonia.

The 2-stage sour water stripping process separately removes hydrogen sulfide and ammonia present in the sour water by steam stripping the sour water in two stripping stages in series. H2S is removed in the first stage, and NH3 is removed in the second stage.  Separately removing H2S and NH3 by this process scheme produces surprising and interesting process variable interactions, especially in the H2S stripping stage.  Identifying, analyzing, and understanding these interactions is essential for control scheme optimization and stable unit operation.

This paper discusses a recent study of an existing 2-stage sour water stripper unit in a US refinery that was undertaken to examine several process variable interactions and recommend control modifications for improving the operational stability and performance of the unit. Commercial process simulation software was used to characterize the interdependencies and the sensitivities of the process variables to changes in operating conditions.  Simulation results were analyzed graphically, and the results were used to identify operational and control modification options for improving the controllability of the unit and reducing operating costs. 

The study also considered the use of the refinery’s existing sulfur recovery unit for processing a concentrated ammonia stream from the second stripping stage, as an option for operating the 2-stage stripping unit during outages of the downstream ammonia product recovery system.

The paper presents an in-depth look at the unit flow sheet, as well as graphical presentation of numerous intricacies of unit operation and control.  
Scott Kafesjian, Director Sulfur Technologies, Wood
15:00 - 15:30
Understanding ammonia destruction in the Claus furnace
Hydrogenated nitrogen from oil refining often ends up in the front-end furnace of the Claus unit along with the acid gas (AG). Because ammonia salts can be problematic in the modified Claus process, the addition of sour water stripper gas (SWSG: NH3/H2S/H2O) means that ammonia must be destroyed before exiting the waste heat boiler. In some cases the SWSG/AG ratio and AG quality have called for two zone furnaces for more effective ammonia destruction, although the performance of the two zone furnaces is not well understood. During past twenty years, ASRL has carried out various studies to help understand the mechanism of ammonia destruction in order to assist designers and operators in improving or estimating the overall destruction given feed compositions, temperature requirements and residence times. Our earlier studies included discovering that SO2 was the more active oxidant versus O2. Recently we have been focusing on ammonia destruction studies with full Claus feed streams at different SWSG/AG ratios. The experimental results from both single zone and dual zone furnace experiments will be discussed in this presentation, where effective residence times in the first zone were surprisingly small. The data from these studies should be directly applicable for those who are activity improving CFD modelling of new and existing furnaces/burners. 
Robert Marriott, Director of Research, Alberta Sulphur Research Ltd (ASRL)
15:30 - 16:00
Elemental sulphur deposition and mitigation in sour gas petroleum reservoirs
There is an inherent problem of controlling elemental sulfur (S8) formation and deposition issues in sour gas pipeline production operations [1]. This can be attributed to the scant knowledge available on S8 source formation mechanisms via thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR) and reactions in sour-gas reservoirs [2]. Reactions of reduced hydrogen sulfur (H2S), elemental sulfur (S8), and their intermediate sulfur compounds such as polysulfide (Sn2-) are difficult to control, because of their variable non-linear behavior, exotic thermodynamic stability, and reactions in sour gas reservoirs .
During natural gas production operations, S8 may occur in pipelines through desublimation and reduction-oxidation (redox) transformation of sulfur species in natural gas, where it changes into a solid state thereby (i) reducing the quality of natural gas (NG) produced per day, (ii) plugging pressure control devices and compressors, and (iii) eventual   shutdown of natural gas plants. One of the most difficult problems facing operators and engineers in the hydrocarbon industry is how to economically control and prevent its deposition in natural gas pipelines [1]. Recent solubility’s studies have shown heavy diesel oil (HDO) to be the solvent of choice to treat S8 deposition in gas reservoirs.
In the present work, we tested these interpretations and quantify the importance of S8 solubilities by carrying out experiments that systematically isolate one process at a time to the extent applicable to one of the World’s largest gas plant in the Kingdom. The results obtained by S8 solubility analyses reveal sulfur to be sparingly soluble in HDO with a solubility maximum of 0.69 wt% near room temperature.  Whereas increasing temperature increases the solubility of S8 up to 1.12 wt%, but partially crystallizes upon cooling to 30 oC. Further measurements in typified S8-HDO treatment plants also show unusual solubility maximum of 0.55 wt%. We interpret this change as being due to a phase change in solid S8, presumably the phase change observed previously in the absence of HDO solvent, modified by solvent wetting.
The comparability or correspondence of results obtained by the determination S8 and its gaseous analogues, implies that HDO solvents have low sulfur solubility, and hence, not effective solvent for removing S8 deposition in sour gas pipeline during hydrocarbon production. Based on these results, a novel and natural cost-effective solvent capable of effectively removing S8 deposition sour gas petroleum reservoirs is developed for application in oil and gas industry. The petroleum industries trail for investigation this natural solvent in the laboratory has delivered impressive results thus far but there remain substantial opportunities for optimization into large scale production. This diagnostic natural solvent treatment provides tremendous potential in the future exploration and production of sulfur-bearing hydrocarbons worldwide.
Harry D. Oduro, Sulfur, Organic & Isotope Geochemist, Saudi Aramco

14:00 - 16:00
Acid stream: Effectively managing SO2 emissions

Balancing low emissions against economical operations is a continual challenge to operators. Aging acid plants, start-up and shutdown procedures, and plants with variable feeds can further complicate application of technology to reduce emissions and “future proof” against future regulation. This session will feature three case study based papers that share operational experience of various technical applications to reduce SO2 emissions in sulphuric acid plants in an economically viable approach.

14:00 - 14:30
Five years later: Comparing operation of single absorption acid plant using Cansolv vs. double absorption
As legislations around the world becomes more stringent for sulphur dioxide emissions, sulphuric acid plants are faced with increasingly expensive solutions to keep their license to operate. Most additions to aging acid plants over the years have included new catalytic beds with an absorption tower or a tail gas scrubber. With reducing emission targets, additional revamps have become more difficult and expensive to install or more cost intensive in terms of operation. The addition of a regenerable SO2 tail gas scrubbing solution like the Cansolv SO2 Scrubbing System to the portfolio of technologies offers plant managers a solution that can be easily tailored and added on to existing facilities while future proofing emissions at the same time.
The Cansolv SO2 Scrubbing System has been successfully applied to treating sulphuric acid plant tail gas from fertilizer and spent acid recovery applications starting in 2002 and has been proven to be a cost effective reliable solution with over 15 years’ commercialization worldwide in various applications. With performance exceeding expectations, plant operators have controlled SO2 emissions to less than 10 ppmv or roughly 0.3 kg/ton of acid produced. The recovered SO2 is recycled into the acid plant to maximize sulphuric acid production. With the possibility to easily bolt-on the solution to existing acid plants, the Cansolv SO2 Scrubbing System can provide the answer to both current and future environmental specifications while simultaneously decoupling emissions from the upstream unit performance.
This paper discusses a case study at a sulfuric acid production site for a fertilizer plant in Louisiana. The case compares real operating data from a Cansolv unit treating tail gas from a single absorption acid plant versus a conventional double absorption acid plant on the same site. The comparison looks at highlighting the advantages of applying re-generable tail gas solutions and the benefits it can bring to an existing operation.
Paolo Olis, Process Engineer, The Mosaic Company
Nicholas Edkins, Technical Service Engineer, Shell Cansolv
14:30 - 15:00
The case for cleaner plants
Emissions regulations are well-intentioned.  They are based upon the fundamental beliefs that we all have the right to a clean planet and the responsibility to ensure that it stays clean for the next generation.  The challenge comes when we need to balance lower emissions with economic realities. 

What is the real environmental impact of acid plant emissions?  What is the real cost of making an improvement?  Is it possible to make both economically and environmentally responsible decisions and if so, how?

This paper will examine this careful balance between economic costs and environmental benefits as well as what, specifically, owners and operators can do to strike the balance that is right for their unique situation.  Real case studies will be used to evaluate various approaches to emissions reduction projects and to ultimately answer the question of how the modern technologies of today can be used to ensure that we have a cleaner planet tomorrow.
Brian Lamb, Global Market Leader - MECS® Brink® Mist Eliminators, MECS - DuPont Clean Technologies
15:00 - 15:30
Gas emission reduction strategies
The operation of sulphuric acid plants presents a number of technical challenges. Plant operators try to maximize the overall production of the plant, while maintaining acceptable emission levels. This is a challenge in plants with variable feed (e.g. metallurgical and acid-gas plants), as well as for plants with more stable feeds (e.g. sulphur burning and acid regeneration plants). The challenge increases when considering process upsets, start-up and shut-down situations. This paper presents technical considerations, plant simulations, process flow schemes, and optimization studies conducted in world-scale acid plants. Moreover, a number of technical improvements are presented, considering real-life examples and applications.
Andres Mehecha-Botero, Senior Process Engineer / Project Manager, NORAM Engineering

16:30 - 18:00
Sulphur stream: Sulphur operations troubleshooting clinic

This interactive clinic, moderated by an independent expert, will allow all participants the opportunity to discuss, question and share experience across a large range of operational scenarios. 

We encourage all organisations to suggest key areas of sulphur plant operations and/or maintenance that are subject to operational problems to be discussed in a moderated discussion format based around supplied questions. Submit your question/case study to amanda.whicher@crugroup.com. Submissions will be treated anonymously and the clinic will be run under Chatham House Rules allowing for an open and frank discussion and exchange of ideas. 

Themes explored will include:
• Sulphur recovery
• Tail gas treating
• Sour water stripping
• Contaminant destruction
• Maintenance and reliability
• HSE strategies and best practice
• Sulphur handling

Elmo Nasato, President/Senior Process Consultant, Nasato Consulting

16:30 - 18:00
Acid stream: Sulphuric acid operations troubleshooting clinic

New for 2017, this interactive session is designed to allow participants an open forum to discuss operational problems, share experience and develop solutions.

We encourage all organisations to suggest key areas of sulphuric acid plant operations and/or maintenance that are subject to operational problems to be discussed in a moderated discussion format based around supplied questions. Submit your question/case study to amanda.whicher@crugroup.com. Submissions will be treated anonymously and the clinic will be run under Chatham House Rules allowing for an open and frank discussion and exchange of ideas. 

Themes explored will include:
Process response to equipment failures
• Drip acid
- Determining the source of water
- When to shut down
- H2 generation
• Opacity
- Determining SO3 slip vs. mist
- Likely causes
• Converter issues
- High SO2 emissions
- Pressure drop buildup
- Mechanical failures
• Other issues
- Acid cooler leaks
- Blower surging
- Blocked mist eliminators- 
- Sulfur sublimations

Steven Puricelli, President/Owner, Sulphuric Solutions, LLC

09:00 - 11:00
Sulphur Stream: Tail gas treating and emissions management

Emissions management is a continual challenge for operators as regulations continue to tighten around the world. Tail gas treating allows operators to achieve higher recovery efficiency and very low emissions. This session will detail some of the common operating problems found in TGTU’s and offer practical advice, as well as detailing how new catalyst and technology solutions can enable operators to achieve lower emissions.

09:00 - 09:30
The seven deadly sins of Tail Gas Treating Units
Since the start up of the first SCOT unit in Alberta, Canada in 1973, the hydrogenation with amine absorber tail gas unit has become the predominant Claus off gas treating technology where very high sulphur recovery and very low emissions are required.  More stringent environmental legislation and tougher fines for non-compliance have led to an increased focus on the performance and reliability of these Tail Gas Treating Units (TGTU).
A correctly designed, properly operated and well maintained TGTU unit is critical to the overall operation of refineries in the USA and for many other facilities world wide.  If the TGTU unit is unable to meet emissions compliance or is out of service, the refining facility or gas plant may be forced to run at reduced throughput or even temporarily shut down.  Because the TGTU is usually the last sulphur removal step, even short duration upsets can have significant impact on environmental performance and the reputation of the facility and may attract regulatory penalties.
Despite the maturity of this technology, some facilities do not operate the SRU and TGTU with a proper understanding of the fundamentals of the process integration and knock on effects of inadequate operation and maintenance of each process step.
This paper in our Seven Deadly Sins series focuses on the most common design, operation, and reliability problems encountered in these units that impact emissions compliance or reliability of the unit and guidance for achieving compliant and reliable operation.
Joe Brindle, Senior Process Engineer, Sulphur Experts

09:30 - 10:00
The benefits of using titania in Claus and tail gas catalysis
It is well known that, from the available Claus catalysts, titanium oxide provides the highest activity in COS and CS2 hydrolysis. However, when there is no direct requirement for the additional activity, the cheaper activated alumina catalyst is often preferred.  Most of the time, the titianium oxide catalyst is only applied as a bottom layer in the first reactor. Besides the clear benefits of using titania in the Claus section of the SRU, a titania-based catalyst in the tail-gas treating unit improves the performance at end-of-run compared to alumina-based catalyst. In addition, titania has proven to provide other operational benefits such as low mercaptans formation, higher oxygen resistance and easier (re)sulfiding. In this presentation Euro Support and Criterion use their combined knowledge to explore the benefits that the titanium catalyst offers in the Claus process covering some practical cases that are met in the field. We will elaborate on the advantages that titania catalyst offers when dealing with different conditions, e.g. non-typical Claus gasses, short lifetime, strict emission demands.
Bob Van de Giessen, Sales Manager, Euro Support
10:00 - 10:30
Lower sulphur emissions from refinery tail gas systems using improved amine solvents: Field demonstration results
Improvements in air quality require reductions in sulfur emissions from industrial facilities. Removal of residual hydrogen sulfide from low pressure sulfur plant tail gas has proved challenging at elevated lean amine or ambient temperatures. Dow has developed and successfully demonstrated a new formulated solvent with a novel molecule that improves H2S removal performance.  When compared to commodity MDEA this new series of specialty solvents, UCARSOL™ TGT, offers economically competitive alternatives for reduction in sulfur emissions in high temperature environments.

The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and the China National Offshore Oilfield Company Huizhou Refinery Branch (CNOOC Huizhou) successfully performed a joint effort to evaluate the performance of a new series of Dow solvents, UCARSOL™ TGT, in a tail gas treater operated by CNOOC Huizhou in Guangdong, China. Air quality specifications are becoming more stringent in China and CNOOC Huizhou is taking proactive steps to meet the new SO2 emissions requirements.  Currently Chinese SO2 emissions are limited to 960 mg/Nm3, but will be reduced to 100 mg/Nm3 July 2017. 

The new solvent from Dow enabled achieving SO2 emissions less than 100 mg/Nm3, with no capital expense.
Dr German Oliveros Patino, Senior Engineer, The Dow Chemical Company
10:30 - 11:00
New standards for SO₂ emission reduction
Rameshni & Associates Technology & Engineering (RATE) have recently patented 8 new technologies related to sulphur technology, gas treating and overall total sulphur management. RATE is a front runner of zero SO2 emissions, and the new patented technologies cover higher recovery in the SRU and followed by the tail gas treating process to meet less than 10 ppmv of SO2

RATE has been awarded a project to use the newly developed technologies and to perform detailed evaluations with the complete cost estimate for different cases ranging from 1000 ppmv of SO2 to less than 10 ppmv of SO2. The evaluation is based on a step by step process to reduce SO2 emission in several stages in line with gradual regulation changes. The goal is to implement the modifications in the current facilities. 

The project is conducted based on actual refinery feed compositions, where the material balance, full equipment sizing, and the process flow diagrams were prepared part of the project deliverables.

The paper will highlight the complete cost estimate that was conducted to support each case, with the OPEX and CAPEX per ton of produced sulphur generated. 
Mahin Rameshni, President & CEO, Rameshni & Associates Technology & Engineering (RATE)

09:00 - 11:00
Acid Stream: Utilising equipment and materials to ensure reliable, effective operations

Holistic approaches to equipment inspection and maintenance is crucial to ensuring plant reliability and avoiding unplanned shutdown. In parallel, technology advancement in materials of construction and specialised equipment can offer operators opportunities to improve reliability and performance efficiency. This session will examine options for improving the effectiveness of plant equipment, and showcase the benefits of new approaches to equipment and construction. 

09:00 - 09:30
Features and benefits of Wet Electrostatic Precipitators
Industrial-grade sulphuric acid, still the most widely used industrial chemical in the world, continues to be sourced primarily as a nondiscretionary byproduct from the roasting, smelting and refining of nonferrous metals (70%), and from natural gas processing, electric power generation and spent acid regeneration. These industries are usually heavy emitters of particulates, sulphur and nitrogen oxide gases, and sulphuric acid mists, among other pollutants. They are also subject to increasingly strict environmental regulations.

When concentrations of sulphur dioxide from these operations exceed five to seven percent of exhaust-gas volumes, a common and cost-effective solution is the incorporation of a downstream sulphuric acid manufacturing plant. Owners of these facilities can capitalise on the high industrial market value of purified sulphuric acid, while achieving greater operating efficiencies and easier regulatory compliance.

However, an efficient sulphuric acid manufacturing process requires the maximum possible removal from input gas streams of fine particulates, acid mists, condensable organic compounds and other contaminants. This high level of gas-cleaning efficiency is necessary to prevent poisoning of the catalysts and fouling or plugging of the catalyst beds. An optically pure input gas is essential for avoiding the formation of a “black” or contaminated acid end-product. Proper gas cleaning also helps protect sensitive acid plant components against corrosion damage, thus lowering long-term expenditures for maintenance and equipment replacement. Ultimately, cleaner gas streams facilitate the production of stronger concentrations of sulphuric acid, suitable for a wider range of end-uses.

Modern gas cleaning and emission control strategies continue to evolve in response to the increasing complexity, toxicity and corrosiveness of industrial exhaust and process gases--not to mention increasingly stringent environmental regulations. Sulphuric acid plant owners have employed several gas cleaning techniques, including wet or dry scrubbers, cyclones and fabric filters. These systems can capture larger particulates, but are usually energy-inefficient or impractical to use on fine particulates, acid mists, oily residues, or condensed organic compounds. Many plant operators thus find that the best solution for removing these contaminants is a modern adaptation of a traditional technology: the electrostatic precipitator, or ESP.

The basic ESP design features an array of discharge electrodes, such as negatively charged wires or rods, able to generate a strong corona field. Each electrode in the array is surrounded by a positively charged or grounded collection surface, traditionally the interior of a square or cylindrical tube. In operation, the source gas is passed through the array, as the ionising electrodes induce a negative charge in even the most minute, submicron-size particles. These are instantly propelled toward the interior collection surfaces, where they adhere as the cleaned gas is passed through.

This simple, basic design concept offers several distinct, inherent advantages, the primary one being the ability to capture fine, submicron-size particulates and acid-mist droplets, whose minimal mass enables them to escape through scrubbers and other mechanical equipment. Certain precipitators can even achieve collection efficiencies approaching 100 percent.
Another advantage inherent to precipitators in general is the extremely low pressure drop experienced as gases pass through the system—as low as 1 - 2 kPa. With virtually no mechanical impedance or obstruction of target pollutant particles traveling through the ESP, gas velocities, and thus operating efficiency, can be extremely high. This enables plant designers to use smaller-scale, less costly equipment and still achieve superior collection efficiencies compared to other systems.

For engineers and plant designers in the field of gas cleaning, several operational goals stand out:

• achieving the highest level of particle collection efficiency;
• cleaning greater volumes of source gases, with faster throughput speeds; and,
• achieving the greatest reductions in costs related to capital investment, operating cost, energy consumption, equipment maintenance, and long-term equipment replacement.

To help sulphuric acid plants and other industries achieve these goals, the engineering staff at Beltran Technologies, Inc. in New York have been researching and developing a specific type of advanced, innovative precipitator technology which offers proven superior performance and efficiency: the Wet Electrostatic Precipitator, or WESP. However, WESPs can vary greatly in design, materials, gas flow rates and durability, as well as collection efficiency. It is thus important for engineers to recognise the key differences among these various systems.

Primarily targeted at capturing submicron-scale particulate matter, saturated sulphuric or other acid aerosols and condensable organic chemicals, the Beltran WESP utilizes aqueous flushing nozzles to clean the collection surfaces. The captured particles are cleansed from the collection surfaces by recirculating water sprays; residues, including aqueous sulphuric acid, are extracted for further use or disposal. The cleaned gas is ducted to downstream equipment or to the stack, depending on the application. A well-designed and correctly operated WESP can clean complex gaseous emissions of particulates and acid mists down to submicron scale (PM 2.5) with up to 99.9% efficiency, and very low energy drain—far superior to other equipment.

The simple elegance of this basic WESP concept makes them uniquely versatile over a broad range of industries, applications, operating conditions and gas chemistries. This adaptability is critical to metallurgical and petroleum refining operations, where source gases can be highly variable.
Taking advantage of the inherently low pressure drop of ESPs, Beltran’s staff devised a multistage system of ionizing rods bristling with star-shaped discharge points. These are encased within square or hexagonal tubes to maximize collection surface area and minimize overall space requirements. The unique electrode geometry generates a corona field 4 to 5 times more intense than that of conventional wet or dry ESPs resulting in greater particle migration velocity and adhesivity. The multistage charging configuration also avoids corona quenching due to high particle densities, and assures maximum corona field strength with a minimum of energy load.

A persistent challenge for traditional dry-operating precipitators is the re-entrainment of particles from the collection surfaces back into the gas stream due to the use of mechanical or acoustical rapping units. Beltran’s design uses a vertical flow and continuous aqueous flushing of WESPs to greatly minimize this problem. By eliminating the need for rappers, WESPs also reduces the higher cost and energy drain imposed by that equipment. For industries that generate oily or sticky residues, the aqueous flushing also prevents particle build-up, and overcomes electrostatic resistivity and back-sparking on the WESP collection surfaces.

Other critical features to look for in WESP equipment are sophisticated electronic controls linked to a close-coupled gas flow management system; these can optimize operating parameters such as gas velocity, saturation, temperature, corona intensity, etc., to achieve maximum efficiency.
A major threat to the cost-effectiveness of a WESP is corrosion of equipment caused by the harsh chemical components of treated gases. To prevent premature deterioration, critical surfaces are constructed with advanced protective materials such as fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) or high nickel-chromium alloys. The high-voltage insulators are continuously purge-air cleaned to further reduce maintenance costs.
Michael Beltran, President, Beltran Technologies, Inc.

09:30 - 10:00
Improving the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) in your sulphuric acid plant
When investing in (chemical) operations, return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important parameters to monitor for shareholders. To increase your internal rate of return, and to smoothen out your operations performance, maximising your operations effectiveness is key for all stakeholders. Industry standard “Overall Equipment Effectiveness” (OEE) or “Asset Utilization” (AU) can be applied to your sulphuric acid plant. This abstract will determine 6 major actions to reduce the 6 major OEE losses in sulphuric acid plants. OEE= Availability x Performance x Quality Availability loss – Unplanned stops Equipment failure is the main reason for unplanned stops. For all different types of assets conditioning monitoring standards (CMS) must be defined. These must be implemented in an adjustment or even a complete new maintenance strategy based on reliability centred maintenance (RCM). A good partner to implement, and also measure, this system on regular base in the plant is needed. Availability loss – Planned stops Even when RCM and CMS are implemented equipment’s will still fail. Key is to have the repair times planned, combined with other tasks (cleaning, other planned maintenance, quality inspections, …) and executed in the shortest possible window. Good planning and scheduling through Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), a good shutdown methodology and an experienced sulphuric acid contractor are best success parameters to guarantee best results. Performance loss – Small stops Process plants need to be in tight control. When constructed they are assessed through strict safety reviews. Safety classifications are defined  and trip values are set. Through  good testing an calibration of the instrumentation and on the other hand training of the operators, a plant trip can significantly be reduced. Risk Based Inspection (RBI) criteria can reduce instrumentation trip an hence increase OEE. Performance loss – Slow cycles Even when your installation is monitored closely and risk are assessed, it is still possible that your unit operations (towers, convertors, sulphur burner, etc) are preventing you to reach maximum throughput. Internal inspections of your equipment during cold shutdowns can give you valuable information of the condition of your plant condition. No need to tell that these jobs in confined spaces, hot environment and still a lot of acid present creates dangerous conditions and are best performed by specialised a specialized company for sulphuric acid plant inspections. Quality loss – Process defects Incorrect equipment settings or performance, operator setting errors, bad quality control of raw materials, etc can lead to bad quality. Even when all effort was done to keep your plant up and running, your OEE can still be badly influenced by these mismatches. Make sure you have supportive management processes to maintain quality at all times. Quality loss – reduced yield Last but not least, well operation of your plant to maintain best conversion in your convertor, low pressure drop, little acid carry over, etc make sure your yields remain as high as possible. Good follow up will be necessary.
Geert Jamaer, General Manager, H2SO4.pm
10:00 - 10:30
Innovative acid resistant lining construction and materials
James Daley, Regional Sales Manager, Magneco/Metrel, Inc.
10:30 - 11:00
Comparison of wet and dry ESP technology
Wet and dry ESP technologies are similar but many questions arise as to when to use one technology over the other as well as the advantages and limitations of each technology.  While wet and dry ESPs retain similar high voltage and collection systems, and share similar physical characteristics; many differences exist, attributable mainly to the inherent design of the technology.  Dry ESPs are used to capture course particulate matter while wet ESPs capture sub-micron particulate matter, condensables and water mist.  Where particle characteristics play a large role in the sizing of dry ESPs, this is not the case with wet ESPs as they are not prone to resistivity problems such as back corona or re-entrainment.  This paper compares the two technologies and when it is recommended to utilize the technologies.
Buzz Reynolds, Vice-President, Hamon Research-Cottrell

11:30 - 13:00
Sulphur Stream: Molten sulphur

This session will focus on case studies downstream of the SRU, and includes an update on the Mosaic Sulphur Melter project, options for molten sulphur pits and a new sulphur pump design developed to adhere to a new API standard. 

11:30 - 12:00
Design & start-up of the world’s largest sulphur melter
The development of high capacity sulfur melters is described together with the design fundamentals for the recent Mosaic sulfur melter system. The case is made for employing external heat  exchangers for melters having melting requirements above 40mtph. Substantially higher heat transfer rates are achieved in shell and tube heat xchangers as compared to typical steam coils-in-tanks designs. Eliminating the internal steam coils allows for a more compact sulfur melter; coils-in-tank melters require ~90ft3/mtph as compared to ~35 ft3/mtph for melters without internal steam coils. The current high capacity melter design provides for non-meltable solids to be continuously transferred to a pump tank receiving sulfur from the melter overflow. “Hot” cleanout of solids in the pump tank requires minimal downtime. Melter control and effects of sulfur moisture and acidity are described for a melter having 200 mtph capacity. Commissioning and startup of the Mosaic sulfur melter are described together with updates of the sulfur melting operations. 
Robin Strickland, Senior Process Engineer, Crescent Technology
Jim Dougherty, Process Engineer, The Mosaic Company
12:00 - 12:30
“Dual lining” system for rehabilitation of molten sulphur pits
If you store molten sulfur in below grade concrete containment pits, you may have already experienced a common problem – trying to stop or mitigate the sulfuric acid corrosion and associated thermal damages that occur in these vessels.  This paper addresses the reasons for the deterioration of concrete and failure of other linings when exposed to the chemistry, temperature(s), and physical stresses imposed by molten sulfur handling.  The author will comment on the reason for selecting a high temperature organic component as both corrosion barrier for concrete to penetrating sulfuric acid; but; also its ability to offer a bond breaker for the refractory component overlay.    Further details will be provided on the proper installation procedures; anchor system design & pattern needed to deflect thermal stresses; chemical resistance of potassium silicates versus other materials of construction; and application methods through gunite technology.  Proper identification of defective lining during inspection & ease of repair of the system will be discussed.   A case history list of the “dual lining” system and long-term service in molten sulfur pit storage containment will be presented.
Gregory Severyn, Business Development Manager, Sauereisen, Inc.

Luis Granes, International Sales Manager, Sauereisen, Inc.

12:30 - 13:00
API 610 Sulphur Pump design
The sulphur market is comprised of various businesses, some of which are governed by American Petroleum Institute (API) specifications.  This is especially true in the petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries.  Other industries, such as the chemical process industry, have adopted API specifications as well.

Centrifugal pumps specifically are governed in the API market by API Specification 610.  API 610 is a fairly comprehensive specification which governs the materials, design, construction, instrumentation and testing of these pumps.   An increasing percentage of the pumps purchased throughout industry in recent years have been highly specified, requiring a greater level of job-specific engineering for each pump.  Frequently these specifications are either identical to, or nearly the same as, API 610 requirements.  Consequently, Weir Minerals Lewis Pumps (WMLP) has developed a line of pumps designed for API 610 service.

Meeting API 610 requirements involved changes to our conventional sulphur pumps in several areas, including: pump hydraulics, system dynamics, manufacturing methods, materials, NACE compliance, and others.

WMLP now offers vertical type Sulphur pump designed for API 610 service.  This paper details the differences between conventional vertical Sulphur pumps and those that meet API 610 requirement.
Hal McKinnon, Senior Engineer – New Product Development, Weir Minerals – Lewis Pumps
Scott Race, Test Engineer, Weir Minerals – Lewis Pumps

11:30 - 13:00
Acid Stream: Measurement, monitoring and repair technology

Specialised instruments for monitoring and measurement are crucial for ensuring safe, reliable operations, including avoiding corrosion and ensuring product quality. This session will showcase two such technologies. In addition, the session will demonstrate a new technique for in service repair. 

11:30 - 12:00
Advances in process gas dew point measurement technology for sulphuric acid manufacturing processes
In sulfuric acid manufacturing process, SO3 gas is generally present without moisture and therefore process gas dewpoint is well below process gas temperatures and, condensation/corrosion is not present. However, there are many sections of the process where there exists a potential for moisture leakage, from the drying tower, through the final stage of conversion and economizer outlet.  When there is a moisture leak of some kind, it leads to rapid downstream corrosion and early indication of such leaks is desired. 

Breen has collaborated with the sulphuric acid manufacturing industry, embarking  on a project to measure the process gas dew point at the converting tower economizer outlet.  The project began with the following goals:

1. Install the Breen AbS Sensor – SA Dew Point Meter and understand its capability to withstand the high positive pressure and high SO3 Atmosphere.
2. Cool and Heat the Dew Point Sensor to achieve formation and evaporation of the process gas condensables and measure the approximate dew point of the process gas under normal conditions

Once the above was achieved the commercial development of a process gas dew point meter required proving of the design in over longer periods of time.  In this project, a process gas dewpoint meter was placed downstream of the converting tower economizer in two different sulfuric acid manufacturing facilities.   This paper summarizes the dew point meter design, installation, maintenance and real-time  response to changing process conditions.
Daniel Menniti, Director of Business Development, Breen Energy Solutions

12:00 - 12:30
Monitoring sulphuric acid and oleum strength with only one measuring device
Monitoring sulphuric acid and oleum strength (wt%) directly in the process enhances the safety and efficiency of the plant. In comparison, manual sampling is time-consuming, risky and may result in significant deviations across operators. Additionally, common laboratory analysis only provides information during random checks. With inline analyzers, the process is continuously monitored in real-time; time delays and imprecise values are things of the past.

In the production processes of several industries, including chemical, petrochemical and mining, highly concentrated sulphuric acid is commonly used and must be precisely measured. The analysis of sonic velocity generates a clear signal in the concentration range of 80 to 100 wt% H2SO4 and provides reliable process information. SensoTech’s® LiquiSonic® technology is based on sonic velocity measurement and provides clear and stable measuring results with an accuracy of up to 0.03 wt%.

It is often necessary to measure sulphuric acid and oleum (SO3 in H2SO4) at the same measuring point, i.e. in the production of oleum. Here, SO3 gas is absorbed by highly-concentrated sulphuric acid. For this measuring task, SensoTech is able to provide an appropriate solution. Apart from H2SO4 monitoring with LiquiSonic® sonic velocity analyzers, the oleum strength can be monitored by incorporating a second measurement technology, such as a density measurement.  By analyzing both measuring parameters, the sulfuric acid and oleum strength can be monitored inline with only one measuring device.

Applications of sonic velocity analyzers include, sulphuric acid and oleum production, alkylation, oil refining, syngas drying, fertilizer manufacturing, mineral processing or etching and pickling baths. The LiquiSonic® sensors are robust, maintenance free and with optional special materials, like Hastelloy C2000 or tantalum, offer long process life. The installation is done directly into the existing pipe or vessel. The measuring results are updated every second, and if the measuring values exceed or fall below critical process thresholds, a signal can be sent immediately to a control system, via 4-20 mA signal, digital outputs, fieldbus or Ethernet, thus ensuring timely countermeasures can be initiated. This real-time information significantly increases work environment safety, product quality, and reduces costs caused by acid wastage and failed production.  
Alexandra Graf, Technical Application Manager, SensoTech GmbH
12:30 - 13:00
In-service repair welding with pressure for the leakage of the converter
Wang Xiao Mian, Plant Manager of Wylton sulfuric acid production, Beijing Wylton International Trading Co. Ltd