Regulation Effects on Sulfur Removal Facilities

Mahin Rameshni, P.E. Chief Process Engineer WorleyParsons 125 West Huntington Drive Arcadia, CA, USA Phone: 626-294-3549 Fax: 626-294-3311 E-Mail:

Sulfur Recovery Symposium Brimstone Engineering Services, Inc. Vail, Colorado, USA September 2001 and AICHE’S 5th International Conference March 10-14, 2002

Table of Contents
Page Abstract......................................................................................................................... i

Section 1

Introduction .............................................................................................................1-1

Section 2

Global Petroleum Market .......................................................................................2-1 2.1 2.2 Overview .....................................................................................................2-1 Impacts from New Environmental Regulations in United States .............2-4

Section 3

Evaluation of Key Elements for Higher Sulfur Recovery .................................3-1 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Process Knowledge ...................................................................................3-1 Existing Process Evaluation ......................................................................3-1 Process Modifications/Optimizations.........................................................3-2 Selection of New Technology to Increase Sulfur Recovery.....................3-3 Evaluation of Existing Process Control/Possibilities of Additional ............... New Controls ..............................................................................................3-5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Process Monitoring.....................................................................................3-6 Capital and Operating Costs......................................................................3-7 Oxygen Enrichment Configurations...........................................................3-7 3.8.1 3.8.2 3.8.3 Low-level Oxygen Enrichment (<28% O2) ..................................3-7 Medium-level Oxygen Enrichment (28% to 45% O2) .................3-8 High-level Oxygen Enrichment (>45% O2) .................................3-8 Implementation of Oxygen Burning Processes.......................3-8 Conventional Configuration for High Capacity Expansion................................................................................3-11 Innovative Configuration for High-capacity Expansion................................................................................3-13 WorleyParsons Latest Development “PROClaus Process” ..................................................................................3-16


Table of Contents
Page Section 4 Conclusions.............................................................................................................4-1

Section 5

Bibliography ............................................................................................................5-1

Appendix Acronyms and Abbreviations................................................................................... A-1

Figures 2-1 3-1 Crude Capacity Conversion Units .............................................................2-4 Conventional SURE Double Combustion Configuration Reusing Existing Reaction Furnace and WHB......................................................3-12 3-2 Conventional SURE Double Combustion Configuration with New Two-pass WHBs.......................................................................................3-13 3-3 Parallel SURE Double Combustion Configuration Using Existing Reaction Furnace and Waste Heat Boiler as Second Thermal Stage Providing 150% Capacity Increase .........................................................3-15 3-4 Parallel SURE Double Combustion Configuration with New Reaction Furnace and Waste Heat Boilers Providing 150% Capacity Increase ..........................................................................3-15 Parallel SURE Double Combustion Configuration Using Existing Reaction Furnace and WHB as Second Thermal Stage Providing 300% Capacity Increase .........................................................3-17 Parallel SURE Double Combustion Configuration with New Reaction Furnace and Waste Heat Boilers Providing 300% Capacity Increase ..........................................................................3-18 Three-stage PROClaus Process Flow Diagram.....................................3-19




Tables 1-1 2-1 3-1 Worldwide Sulfur Recovery Requirements ...............................................1-2 Crude Quality Profile for Western European Refineries...........................2-2 Typical Sulfur Species in Claus Tail-gas Unit ...........................................3-1


.......................................Table of Contents Page 3-2 3-3 3-4 3-5 Different Tail-gas Processes.........3-4 Comparison of Tail-gas Cleanup Processes .....................................................3-5 Revamp Plants Comparison...................................................................................................................................................3-10 iii ......3-5 Tail-gas Cleanup Process...

a significant investment will be needed to attain 2005 standards for gasoline and diesel.S. unit costs. The EPA believes it has designed its proposed reduction “to include significant lead time for the introduction of new cleaner fuel into the marketplace and to ensure no disruptions in fuel supply. “uncoordinated environmental programs will lead to frequent market disruptions which affect all petroleum products. Western European refiners will be required to make significant processing changes. operating capacity. Refiners should be thinking about sulfur-free fuels.. This “touch” stance translates into dropping the current 500-ppm level to 15 ppm. Managing emissions from mobile sources is becoming a more complex situation. infrastructures.g. Methanol and low-sulfur reformulated gasolines are the most promising fuels for fuel cells.” The refining industry is already implementing a budget program to reduce sulfur in gasoline in the same time frame. Reductions to 30-ppm sulfur is viewed as a ‘great first step’. Refineries are already pushing the limit of total U. Although most refiners did not have a serious problem meeting the year 2000 requirements.Abstract The U. The current refinery configuration in Western Europe does not i . which could have devastating consequences. which supports a 90% reduction in highway diesel sulfur levels (e. Processing methods to meet the recent sulfur-reduction specifications for gasoline might also reduce octane in the gasoline blending streams. The NPRA has stated that the EPA’s proposed rule to establish a 15ppm sulfur cap in 2006 goes too far. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal for a 97% reduction in diesel fuel’s sulfur content in mid-May 2000. a new cap of 50 ppm).S. According to the NPRA. The association expressed concern that a 15ppm cap for diesel sulfur content effective in 2006 (from its current 500 ppm) will sharply reduce available fuel supplies.” The super-clean vehicles of the future will demand near zero or sulfur-free fuels. and the size of fuel cells are yet to be resolved.” However. For example.” One objective of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in the United States is to improve air quality. leading to higher prices and increased market volatility. voices its concerns that investment requirements for compliance are “immense. Fuel sulfur concentration is a problem for new engine designs. The drive train of new car designs will actually determine future fuel specifications. Sulfur is the only diesel fuel property that should be regulated because it is the only fuel property that significantly impairs the efficiency of the heavy-duty engine emission control devices. The EPA notes that “Refiners and car manufacturers must work together to develop engine technologies and cleaner fuels so that the clean-air objectives are met. Fuel provisions would go into effect in June 2006. many challenges remain. sulfur interferes with the proper functioning of advanced emission control technologies. However. fuel types. the industry’s National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA). Because of the environmental legislation of the European Union (EU). Fuel cell systems for vehicles are being researched. because future cars will eventually require sulfur-free fuels.

every refinery would need to invest in additional HDS capacity plant to address the lower limits for diesel. during the year 2005. Typical sulfur recovery efficiencies for Claus plants are 90% to 96% for a twostage plant and 95% to 98% for a three-stage plant. The following key parameters affect the selection of the tail-gas cleanup process: ii .0% to >99. European refiners will have to make adjustments and investments to meet the EU’s 2000/2005 “clean” gasoline and diesel specifications. gas. In response to this trend. several new technologies are now emerging to comply with the most stringent regulations. It is necessary to develop and implement reliable and cost-effective technologies to cope with the changing requirements. Conformance to Auto-I leads to a six percent increase in CO2 emissions whilst lowering the sulfur content of gasoline to 10 ppm leads to a future 4. 500-ppm diesel) for the year 2000 and 2005 limits. In the United States. These advances are not only in the process technology but also in the manner in which the traditional modified Claus process is viewed and operated. In general. the limit for sulfur diesel will drop to 15 ppm. and chemical processing facilities. Therefore. which could mean a simple change of catalyst rather than the introduction of new sulfur removal technology. With the sulfur content of crude oil and natural gas on the increase and with the ever-tightening sulfur content in fuels. environmental regulatory agencies of many countries continue to promulgate more stringent standards for sulfur emissions from oil. The sulfur content in gasoline specifications under European law is 150 and 50 ppmw (from the current 200-ppm gasoline.Abstract support the production of the product slate demanded by local markets. One of the future options for diesel streams is a new type of catalyst. Unfortunately. which dictates level of sulfur removal as well as catalyst life. the European refining industry is plagued by gasoline surpluses that have contributed to low profit margins. the refiners and gas processors will require additional sulfur recovery capacity. A new desulfurization technology such as Phillips Petroleum’s S-Zorb process for diesel could be introduced. Most countries require a sulfur recovery efficiency in the range of 98. respectively. At the same time. the average legal limit for sulfur in gasoline will dip to 30 ppm from a current 300 ppm and during the following year.5 percent increase in carbon releases from refineries.9%. the sulfur limit in gasoline will be 30 ppm from 2005 and a sulfur-free limit of 10 ppm will be introduced between 2005 and 2011. the sulfur constituents in the Claus tail-gas must be reduced further. In Europe. Using conventional HDS units to deliver very low levels of sulfur depends on design parameters such as operating partial pressure of hydrogen.

This paper presents the regulation effects of sulfur removal on worldwide facilities.5%.g.0% to 99. and that could be corrected by the minimum modifications in sulfur plants.000 tpd. The major impacts on the sulfur recovery units worldwide are not more than a 15% to 30% capacity increase. Germany requires sulfur recoveries of 99.8% for plants with lower capacity. The latter recovery corresponds to less than 250 ppmv of SO2 in the offgas going to the thermal oxidizer before the offgas is vented to the atmosphere. depending on where the plant is located. the EPA or EU). The European countries are required to reduce the maximum levels of sulfur in diesel and gasoline by environmental regulation agencies.9% or higher sulfur recovery. the global petroleum market and the key parameters to improve the existing plants. the overall sulfur recovery in most European countries is at least 98..5% for plants with a capacity of 50 tpd up to 99% for plants with a capacity of 2. oil and gas refineries are required to reduce the emissions of sulfur levels to achieve 99. iii . an overall sulfur recovery efficiency of 98. The sulfur recovery requirements in Canada increase from 98. including H2S content.5% for plants with a high capacity and 99. and other contaminants Existing equipment and process configuration/modifications Concentration of sulfur species in the stack gas Ease of operation Remote location Sulfur product quality Minimum unit modification for existing units Costs (capital and operating) Depending on the process route selected. ways to increase sulfur recovery the capacity. In United States. Oxygen enrichment seems to be the most costeffective process to increase the capacity in existing sulfur plants. as well as the design criteria for the new plants to achieve the emission requirements established by environmental regulatory agencies. Feed gas composition. hydrocarbons. However.9% is achievable.9%.Abstract (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) Required sulfur recovery efficiency established by the environmental agency for different countries (e. In South America. the sulfur recovery requirements vary from 99.0% to >99.

Part of the sulfur in the crude oil accumulates in the refinery residues. Whether the initiative arose from government inducement. several new technologies are now emerging to comply with the most stringent regulations. public pressure. that gasoline is not subject to the requirements of the gasoline sulfur rule. Combustion of refinery residues. These are: (1) (2) (3) Process knowledge Existing process evaluation Process modifications/optimization/converting to a suitable process in order to meet the new emission requirements for any unit involved with the emission requirements Selection of a new technology for the new plant Evaluation of the existing process control/possibilities of additional new controls Process monitoring Capital and operating costs (4) (5) (6) (7) To achieve the higher recovery expected of a modern sulfur recovery unit. including gasoline produced by a refiner located within the Gas Processing Associations (GPA). requires additional processes and investment costs. or converting these residues to synthesis gas. advances in the modified Claus sulfur recovery process itself are being implemented. as well as incineration of Claus tail gases. which is converted to sulfur in the refinery Claus plant. or internally from corporate philosophy. Each key element will be evaluated individually in the following sections. results in offgases containing SO2. If gasoline that is exported for sale outside the United States. 1-1 . Table 1-1 represents the worldwide sulfur recovery requirements for selected countries. government regulations are only effective if compliance is monitored and if the regulations are strictly enforced. sulfur contained in the oil is mainly recovered as H2S. and further upgrading the heavy residues to lighter hydrocarbons. These process technology advances are as a result of the evaluation of the key parameters. However. The external use of heavy fuels is very restricted. The environmental regulations in many countries require that most of the SO2 is removed from these flue gas flows. In response to this trend.Section 1 Introduction When crude oil is processed in refineries. there has been a considerable increase in demand from industries for what are regarded as the key elements for achieving higher sulfur recovery efficiencies.

9 97. % 99.0 to 99.5 to 99 99.0 98.0 99.0 99.0 to 99.9 99.5 to 99.0 95.9 99.9 98.9 99.5 98.9 98 to 99.0 95.9 < 99.0 to 99.Section 1 Introduction Table 1-1—Worldwide Sulfur Recovery Requirements Country Asia Australia China India Indonesia Japan Kazakhstan Korea Pakistan Philippine Singapore Taiwan Thailand Europe Italy Most European Countries Austria Germany Russia United Kingdom (UK) Middle East Abu Dhabi (UAE) Egypt Iraq Kuwait Qatar Saudi Arabia North America Canada United States South America Argentina Overall Sulfur Recovery.5 to 99.5 99.0 99.9 99.0 99.9 99.9 99.9 99.9 < 99.9 99.8 99.9 1-2 .0 99.8 99.

Venezuela Mexico Venezuela Overall Sulfur Recovery.0 98.5 to 99.5 to 99.Section 1 Introduction Country Jose Industrial. % 99.9 98.5 1-3 .

Refiners must invest in new process units to process new clean fuels.S. the approach taken was different. 2-1 . will be used for this testing purpose by the year 2004. It may not be economical for some smaller refiners to remain in business. The U. and partners in joint ventures.” which means a 10-ppm sulfur level in gasoline. Although this methodology is more complex to understand and administer. and toxic compounds based on the physical properties of the product fuel. The sulfur rule states that a small refiner must produce gasoline by processing crude oil through a refinery-processing unit. In just 1 year. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D-2622-98. the new environmental laws require “sulfur-free fuels. including refineries owned by subsidiaries. parent companies and subsidiaries of the parent company. and others will need to make significant investments. there is plenty of scope for brimstone production for the future. In many respects. However. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) interprets its regulations to require refiners applying for small refiner status to include only the crude capacity in 1998 at refineries it owned. refiners are forced to use a minimum oxygen content for both reformulated and oxygenated fuel programs. it offers refiners greater flexibility in adjusting the formulations to meet the environmental goals. the new European specifications are similar to the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements imposed by the United States but. Refiners who have relatively large crude capacity will probably be in a better position to finance and install desulfurization equipment to meet national standards in 2004. nitrogen oxides (NOX). the design method for testing for sulfur content of gasoline. In the United States. these laws will also reposition refineries to supply a product mix that more closely matches the market’s demands.S. the general approach was to create predictive models to calculate emission values for volatile organic content (VOC). the one notable exception is that U. although the objectives are compatible.1 Overview Global Petroleum Market The crude capacity limit was adopted to ensure that only truly small companies who need additional time to comply can qualify for small refiner status. Table 2-1 represents the crude quality profile for Western European refineries. The following factors affect the European refining industry: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) Crude oil and refined product supply Demand Global competition Environmental year 2000 and 2005 legislation Imports Costs With the sulfur removal rates in European refineries averaging 70%. the targets set for refiners to cut sulfur levels in transportation fuels have reduced into the distance.Section 2 2. In Germany.

refiners invested in reformulating gasoline and diesel for low-sulfur content. baseline data from 1990 was used and antidumping provisions were enacted to prevent the quality of conventional gasoline from being degraded with undesirable components that the regulation had already removed from clean fuels.2 2010 33. °API Average sulfur. but it increases exhaust emissions of these pollutants by inhibiting catalyst performance. To comply with the CAA. CO. experience will be applicable in Europe. Although U. To further compliance of the U.S.4 1. RFG was required year-round in nine ozone nonattainment areas. conventional. wt% 1995 35.1 2000 35. where a complicated patchwork was implemented with four gasoline types [reformulated gasoline (RFG).1 1. The sulfur content in gasoline specifications under European law is 150 and 50 ppmw for the year 2000 and 2005 limits. oxygenated. Sulfur inhibition is very sensitive to air/fuel ratio. In addition.1 1. The sensitivity of sulfur content on exhaust emissions is higher in newer advanced catalyst technology. The sulfur content in diesel specifications under European law is 350 and 50 ppmw for the year 2000 and 2005 limits.9 1. with other areas having the option to use RFG as part of their plans to remain in compliance. refiners have more flexibility in adjusting each physical property to meet the calculated emission values. Oxygenated fuels were required in the winter for nearly 40 metropolitan areas throughout the United States.S. program. The European refiners have rigid specifications for each physical property that must be satisfied for a common fuel.3 The European industries will have the new requirements spread uniformly across the entire continents.and off-road).S. Some lessons learned from the U. the results are similar enough for some generalized comparisons to be made. and California reformulated] and two diesel types (on. the U.S. as well as the additional administrative efforts. respectively. and NOx. Sulfur in gasoline does not affect engine emissions of HC.Section 2 Global Petroleum Market Table 2-1—Crude Quality Profile for Western European Refineries Year Average gravity. Although the approaches are different. they have the added complexities of balancing the production and distribution of multiple fuels. respectively. This contrasts to the United States. Sulfur has been identified as the critical component in gasoline that needs to be restricted by the federal Reformulated Gasoline specifications. some of which overlap with RFG areas. each company was given the option of meeting individual batch requirements or slightly more stringent average requirements. in the oxygenates [methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) 2-2 .1 2005 33.

refiners during the 1990s. The overall net impact will be an environment of modestly better. as well as bunker demand. Essentially. isomerization. To put these new limits into perspective. naphtha/reformate/cracked gasoline fractionation. Western Europe will be increasingly reliant on imported products. Price volatility will occur with increasing frequency because any surge in demand or disruption in domestic supply will need to be replenished by offshore sources. although still not stellar. sulfur is being attacked worldwide because it interferes with catalytic converter performance. Production costs have averaged around $0. Europe is also projected to absorb gradually more significant amounts of heavy Venezuelan production in order to supply feedstock-to-refinery conversion operations. Supplies from Latin America and the FSU will increase. resulting in greater price volatility in the future. Iraqi production will also flow to Northern Europe. In addition.03/gal to make the new reformulated gasoline and $0. and it is supplemented by the North Sea’s volumes and West African production. The sulfur limits have the clearest definition with solid specifications for both years 2000 and 2005. many will need to add expensive but versatile hydrocracking units to meet the low-sulfur. In the longer term. which may have significant time lags in their delivery ability. and the Middle East will become a much bigger shipper into the European continent. In the short term. Figure 2-1 represents the crude capacity conversion units in Western Europe as 21% and in the United States as 52% when compared to the other countries in 1998. high-octane requirements of the new diesel fuel. and gasoline blending automation. Led by automakers. these margins should be adequate to cover the significant investments that must be made. displacing the Middle East and Former Soviet Union (FSU) volumes.S. All of North Africa’s increased production is absorbed in the Mediterranean. increased North Sea production will flow primarily to Europe.01/gal for low-sulfur diesel. sweet crudes as North Sea production begins to decline.Section 2 Global Petroleum Market and. Unlike the experience of the U. and average diesel sulfur levels are at ~ 500 ppm. 2-3 . Because domestic production will not be capable of satisfying the local demand growth. typical gasoline sulfur content in Europe is currently at ~ 200 ppm. It is expected that overall gasoline yields will drop as refiners respond to the tighter aromatic limits and adjust their heavy naphtha cutpoints upward. the crude market will become more constrained with respect to light. all remaining refineries in Europe will need to add diesel desulfurization capability by year 2005. refining margins for the Western European industry. to a lesser extent. aromatics extraction/separation. tertiary amyl ether (TAME)].

poses a considerable risk that diesel supplies will be inadequate to meet demand. environmental regulations have the following impacts: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) Create inadequate diesel supplies Increase fuel prices Increase revamp activities for most refineries Reduce net imported supplies Produce a near-perfect operation Lose product due to high severity desulfurization Lose effective product due to reduction in product energy content Maintain ability for 15-ppm cap diesel throughout the refinery’s distribution system Increase capital and operating costs The new EPA Tier 2 emission regulations will require the following modifications: (1) Additional Fluid Catalyst Cracker (FCC) fed pretreat 2-4 . The U.S. which results from a 15-ppm highway diesel fuel sulfur limit.Section 2 Global Petroleum Market Figure 2-1—Crude Capacity Conversion Units 2. The reduced production capability.2 Impacts from New Environmental Regulations in United States Maintaining diesel fuel supplies in the face of increasing product demand and tight refinery capacity will present refiners with a serious challenge by itself.

our national environmental goals must be consistent with our national energy needs. yet. more environmentally acceptable products to consumers. It is preferable that the EPA establish a cost-effective standard for engines and fuels that substantially reduces emissions and.Section 2 (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) Global Petroleum Market FC gasoline post-treat Additional H2 production Additional sulfur recovery Possible additional alkylation capacity Debottlenecking and utility upgrades The refining industry is committed to providing cleaner. However. product refining and distribution system is already stretched to its limit. Close attention must be paid to the impact of future regulatory requirements on product supplies and energy security because the U.S. is close to the European regulations. 2-5 .

Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery The major impacts on the sulfur recovery units worldwide are not more than 15% to 30% capacity increases. the actual sulfur recovery efficiency is unknown because the feed compositions to the sulfur recovery unit could vary as the result of the upset upstream units or the variation of the summer and winter feed compositions. These meetings not only deal intensively with the theoretical and practical aspects of sulfur plant operations but also provide opportunities for operators from diverse backgrounds to discuss and sometimes solve common problems. The process knowledge could be gained from the experience of analyzing data obtained during detailed engineering evaluations of an operating plant. The following key elements for higher sulfur recovery should be evaluated in a step-bystep process to maintain the capital and operating costs within an acceptable range. 3. Based on the analysis of numerous detailed sulfur plant tests. the actual performance test of the unit should be evaluated to determine how much improvement is required.1 Process Knowledge The education of operators has taken a major step forward with the introduction in annual training and seminars on the subject of optimizing sulfur plants. To achieve the higher sulfur recovery in existing plants (with the possibility of additional changes). the actual sulfur recovery efficiency will not be the same as had been 3-1 . However. catalysts. In most existing plants.2 Existing Process Evaluation The thermodynamic limitations of the Claus equilibrium reaction do not allow the attainment of sulfur recovery efficiencies greater than 90% to 96% for a two-stage reactor plant and 95% to 98% for a three-stage reactor plant. Engineers and operators who have a handson understanding of the process are invaluable in conducting such troubleshooting activities. if the existing equipment. it has been reported that the potential causes of recovery efficiency losses can be divided into the following categories: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Poor reaction stoichiometry Catalyst deactivation Operating the first converter when it is too cold Operating the second and third converters when they are too hot Bypassing gases around the conversion stages High final condenser temperature Liquid sulfur entrainment 3. Most such tests are conducted on plants that are experiencing operational problems or have problems with low sulfur recoveries. piping. and chemicals are not well maintained.

and tailgas cleanup units) often helps to identify process problems in the sulfur plant. this process requires taking samples from eight process streams. the benefits from these modifications should be considered carefully. Sub-dewpoint process by Delta Engineering (MCRC).. 3. An analysis of process streams of upstream and downstream units (such as amine. a further evaluation could proceed. because modifications to process equipment could be expensive. Indeed. sour water. cold bed adsorption (CBA). However.e. advances are being implemented in the modified Claus sulfur recovery process itself. or Sulfreen process to the latest technology WorleyParsons PROClaus process Adding a new reactor with an additional heater and condenser (7) (8) (9) 3-2 . The test itself consists of collecting all operational data and stream compositions between all vessels in the process where a change in chemical composition has occurred. Operational changes are accepted because they are usually simple and easy to implement without affecting operating costs.3 Process Modifications/Optimizations The acid gas composition leaving the acid gas removal system has an impact on sulfur recovery efficiency. the implementation of such changes has resulted in significant improvements in the sulfur recovery efficiencies of many plants. To achieve the higher recovery expected of a modern sulfur recovery unit. These advances are taking place in the process technology as the result of evaluating the following key parameters: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) Corrections (i.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery originally designed. After the improved actual sulfur recovery efficiency takes place. those listed previously as deficiencies in the process design basis) Optimization of the feed to the Claus unit by improving the upstream units (such as gas treating to reduce impurities) Providing an additional process downstream of the Claus unit (such as tailgas unit) Switching from air to oxygen in order to destroy more impurities and increase the capacity/recovery Providing an acid gas and air preheater upstream of the reaction furnace Changing the Claus catalyst or combining it with a high-performance catalyst such as hydrolysis catalyst (with a ratio of 30% to 100%) and an oxidation and reduction catalyst in order to increase the sulfur recovery Converting the modified Claus process to WorleyParsons Beaven’s Sulfur Removal BSR Hi-Activity process Converting any SuperClaus. For the average sulfur plant.

5% to > 99.75 200 to 5000 200 to 5000 Saturated at T&P 3-3 . acid gas composition. The choice of the tail-gas treatment processes depends on several criteria.4 Selection of New Technology to Increase Sulfur Recovery Typical sulfur recovery efficiencies for Claus plants are 90% to 96% for a twostage plant and 95% to 98% for a three-stage plant.15 to 0. Table 3-1 presents the typical amounts of sulfur-containing compounds to be treated in the Claus tail gas. configuration.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery (10) (11) Optimizing the sulfur recovery converter/condenser temperatures unit sulfur recovery unit (SRU) Converting the amine solvent in the gas treating unit and any tail-gas unit from a generic solvent to proprietary solvent to increase the volumetric rate and improve the emissions Optimizing the BSR reactor’s temperature and hydrogen consumption Optimizing the amine flow rate and temperature for amine absorbers Minimizing the steam consumption and stabilization of the acid gas’s quality for amine regenerators Minimizing the steam consumption stabilization of the acid gas’s quality for sour water strippers (12) (13) (14) (15) 3. and capacity of the existing Claus unit. in order to remove the last remaining sulfur species.9%. recycling technologies. the sulfur constituents in the Claus tail-gas must be reduced further.3 to 1. catalytic oxidation of H2S into elemental sulfur. Tail-gas processes include H2S absorption. including the sulfur recovery efficiency required. and a tail-gas incinerator process. Table 3-1—Typical Sulfur Species in Claus Tail-gas Unit Sulfur Species H2S (vol %) SO2 (vol %) COS (ppmv) CS2 (ppmv) Svap Value 0.5 0. Most countries require sulfur recovery efficiencies in the range of 98. Therefore. based on different concepts. The increasing standards of efficiency required by the pressure from environmental protection has led to the development of a large number of Claus tail-gas treatment units.

Sulfinol. which reduces the recovery efficiency of the Claus stages. No need to require a hydrogenation step because SO2 is converted directly to elemental sulfur in the presence of the highly selective Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)catalyst. the feasibility study should be based on all the selection criteria. which require routine valves switching and bed regeneration. Table 3-2—Different Tail-gas Processes Tail-gas Treating (H2S recycle and selective cat oxidation process Typical Solvent (MDEA. HS-101/103. including the required sulfur recovery efficiency.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery When building a new plant. it offers distinct advantages over other competing technologies: (1) No need to operate the Claus stages off-ratio as in the Super Claus process. Gas/Spec *SS. The PROClaus process’s technological. Table 3-2 presents the various tail-gas processes. as well as increases the inlet H2S concentration to the last. No need to operate at sub-dewpoint as in the CBA and MCRC processes. Venezuela. and minimum unit modification. minimum capital cost. direct oxidation stage. This innovative processing scheme overcomes the sulfur yield limitations dictated by the Claus equilibrium. operational.5%. Clintox Cansolv Elsorb Bio-Claus Shell SCOT/ARCO Dual-Solve BSR/Hi-Activity/PROClaus WorleyParsons BOC Recycle BSR/Wet Oxidation Super Claus (2) (3) A demonstration unit for the PROClaus process is started in early 2001 at Puerto La Cruz. The PROClaus process uses two highly selective catalysts for direct reduction of SO2 and direct oxidation of H2S to elemental sulfur. and economic advantages over other commercial tail gas cleaning unit (TGCU) 3-4 . Flexsorb) BSR/Amine Process Resulf BSR/Selectox DOXOSulfreen Incinerator Tail Gas Wellman-Lord Claus Master Clausorb WorleyParsons proprietary PROClaus process combines the conventional Claus processing step with two selective reaction steps in a three or four-stage configuration that enhances the overall sulfur recovery up to 99. In addition.

9 1. Relative Cost % 97.2 99.15 1.5 to 99.99 99.8 99. Table 3-3—Comparison of Tail-gas Cleanup Processes Process Converters Sulfur Recovery.5 99.3 98.99 99.0 3-5 .40 1.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery processes will certainly revolutionize how an efficient and cost-effective SRU/TGCU should be designed and operated in the future.5 99.30 1.2 99.99 99.0 99.00 1.5 to 99. Tables 3-3 and 3-4 present the comparisons of tail-gas cleanup processes with the sulfur recovery efficiency. % 99.0 99-99.2 to 99.99 99.15 1.70 Modified Claus PROClaus Sub-dewpoint Sub-dewpoint Direct oxidation Direct oxidation BSR/Selectox BSR/Hi-activity BSR/amine or SCOT 3 3 –4 3 4 3 4 4 4 3 + amine Table 3-4—Tail-gas Cleanup Process Process BSR/Flexsorb BSR/MDEA HCR Thiopaq Clauspol PROClaus BSR/Hi-Activity BSR/Selectox ER Claus Capital Cost 5 6 6 4 3 2 3 4 1 Operating Cost 5 5 5 4 4 2 3 3 1 Efficiency.0 99.0 99.5 98.45 1.35 1.20 1.9 99.

5 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery Evaluation of Existing Process Control/Possibilities of Additional New Controls To improve the higher sulfur recovery efficiency. Because of the shortcomings of feed forward control. 3-6 . especially analyzers Use active catalyst Compare actual sulfur recovery versus calculated sulfur recovery Correct any of above deficiencies to improve the sulfur recovery efficiency The additional new control systems should be implemented in conjunction with the existing control systems to prevent any deficiencies. the tail-gas analyzer is certainly worthy of attention and merit in the overall scheme to attain high recovery efficiencies.6 Process Monitoring Process monitoring is the final phase of the optimization process. a third conversion stage only contributes an additional 2% recovery at a capital cost of 15%. 3. By comparison. Advances in process monitoring have given the operators and the regulatory authorities a better daily account of plant performance. Thus. Monitoring is essential for implementing good operating practices that emphasize preventive measures rather than corrective actions to keep the plant running at optimal efficiency.Section 3 3. oxygen) to the reaction furnace/reactors for the main and side streams Provide appropriate instrumentation. the existing process control should be evaluated first. along with the new equipment. air. additional new controls.5% at a capital cost of 15% to 25%. The key parameters for the process control in the existing plants follow: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) Provide good process design Provide well-maintained equipment Provide well-trained operators Maintain the correct operating temperatures throughout the unit Maintain the correct feed ratio (acid gas. and an enhanced Claus process contributes an additional 2% to 2. it is widely accepted that a tail-gas analyzer in closed loop control contributes from 3% to 5% to the overall recovery efficiency on the conventional Claus SRU. might then be required. The achievement and maintenance of high sulfur recovery efficiencies in the existing plants is a long-term commitment from all who are involved in operating the plant.

sulfur fog/mist losses. i. The easiest option is to select the technology with the minimum modifications and minimum changes to the operation procedures and. 3. 3. This technology application enables operators to realize significant cost savings in both capital investment and operating costs depending on the desired capacity expansion. The thermodynamic capability of the process determines the allowances for feed composition. For many operators.e.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery The expected long-term efficiency is the goal for each plant.8. and it should still be able to use the existing equipment as much as possible. the efficiency can be exceeded at any time when circumstances result in the actual efficiency losses due to the factor being less than assessed in determining the expected efficiency. at the same time. operation above the sulfur dewpoint. No equipment modification is required in the existing SRU. to achieve the required sulfur recovery efficiency. Because the expected efficiency is not a thermodynamic limit. It is further assumed that the plant is optimized and a good operational practice has been established to maintain the optimal performance. Sometimes.8 Oxygen Enrichment Configurations In recent years. other than providing the tie-in point for oxygen injection in the combustion air line. the most economical route to acquire incremental SRU capacities is to apply oxygen enrichment in their existing SRUs in lieu of building new SRUs.1 Low-level Oxygen Enrichment (< 28% O2) For a desired capacity increase of up to 20% to 25% of the original design sulfur processing capacity. low-level oxygen enrichment technology is adequate. process configuration. Lowlevel oxygen enrichment is accomplished by injecting pure oxygen or oxygen-rich air into the combustion air. fluctuations in the air-to-acid gas ratio. An SRU capacity increase of approximately 20% to 25% is achievable with low-level oxygen enrichment. the drive towards clean air and clean fuels created great demand for additional hydrodesulfurization and sulfur recovery capacities in refineries and gas plants worldwide. The existing plot plan should be evaluated to eliminate the need for designing long piping that contains the hot fluids and the need for new structures. types of reheaters used. The capital cost investment is mainly in the installation of an 3-7 . plus an allowance for the effects of transitory upsets in upstream processes and equipment failures that occur from time to time..7 Capital and Operating Costs One of the main selection criteria for the chosen technology is to achieve minimum capital and operating costs. and degradation of catalyst activity and plant equipment. oxygen is premixed with combustion air upstream of the burner. 3. revamping the SRU units can take place during general turnarounds to eliminate an additional plant shutdown.

8. 3. depending on which oxygen enrichment technology is chosen. both of which can have a lean relatively constant composition feed. In any case.3 High-level Oxygen Enrichment (> 45% O2) For a capacity increase of up to 150% of the original design capacity. which ensures complete destruction of undesired heavy hydrocarbons and ammonia. 3. It can be used in either end-firing or tangential-firing designs The excellent mixing characteristics of the SURE burner.3. allow the existing reaction furnace to be used with only minor modifications to accommodate the new burner. hence. New plants have been designed to use oxygen enrichment when a refiner sees a need for a “peak shaving” operation or the need to increase the capacity of a unit on a short-term basis to allow for the maintenance of a second unit. reduces formation of COS and CS2. The burner designed for air-only operation might not withstand the higher combustion temperature. The combustion air piping in a conventional SRU is not suitable for handling oxygenrich air above 28% oxygen. The capital cost investment is mainly in the installation of an oxygen supply system and a new oxygen-compatible burner. which is usually an oxygen supply line added to the reaction furnace burner. high-level oxygen enrichment is applicable.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery oxygen supply system. medium-level oxygen enrichment technology is required. New Claus plants using oxygen without air are normally associated with gasification projects or gas plants. The thermal section of the existing SRU must be modified and/or have new equipment added.8. and shortens gas residence time requirements for contaminant destruction. 3. coupled with the higher combustion temperature attained in oxygen enrichment operation. The SURE burner is designed for efficient combustion in SRUs with oxygen enrichment. Oxygen enrichment considerably raises the reaction furnace temperature.2 Medium-level Oxygen Enrichment (28% to 45% O2) For a desired capacity increase of up to 75% of the original design sulfur processing capacity. direct injection of oxygen through separate nozzles from combustion air is recommended. special burners designed for direct oxygen injection should be installed. The minimum modifications required for a typical revamp are listed below: 3-8 .8.1 Implementation of Oxygen Burning Processes Oxygen enrichment has been applied to Claus unit revamps because the economics are clearly favorable if an increase in sulfur production is required.

There were various reasons for this. For some of the revamps discussed here. replacement of the WHB. the preinstalled new reaction furnace/WHB could easily be tied in with its existing counter part within the plant shutdown schedule. The combustion products from the first furnace are cooled in the first WHB and then flow into the second furnace.000 F (540 C). a new combustion chamber was installed for each plant. Part of the oxygen is injected directly into the first furnace through dedicated oxygen injection nozzles in the SURE burner. and a requirement for ammonia burning. The SURE Double Combustion employs two combustion furnaces and WHBs arranged in series.Section 3 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery New burner Revised control system Revised shutdown systems Oxygen storage (if not available) Oxygen transfer line Normally the existing reaction furnace and waste heat boiler (WHB) could be used for the oxygen-enriched operation if the design temperature of their refractory is suitable for the oxygen enrichment. The first WHB is designed to cool the combustion products to a temperature above 1. 3-9 . The short time allowed for the mechanical implementation of a revamp (typically 3 weeks) means that operations such as rebricking a combustion chamber on site are too time-consuming. In the case of employing WorleyParsons/BOC Gases Company (BOC) SURE Double Combustion technology. therefore. The remaining oxygen is injected into the second furnace by oxygen lances. Table 3-5 presents the plant comparison before and after revamp. provision of a new combustion chamber with its refractory is favored. which is higher than the auto-ignition temperature of H2S and sulfur (about 500 F or 260 C). but the main determining factor is the time allowed for the work on site. namely corrosion of the old combustion chamber. In this case. The combustion products from the second furnace are cooled in the second WHB and then sent to the catalytic stages. All acid gas and combustion air are sent to the first furnace where the SURE burner is located. a new reaction furnace/WHB is installed upstream and in series of the existing reaction furnace/WHB. so that no igniter is required in the second furnace and there is no danger from buildup of an explosive mixture of acid gas and oxygen.

72 1.6 17.0 100.5 10.2 39.53 0.6 28.3 87. metric tons per day (MTPD) After Plant Revamp.3 1.1 33.9 172.0 — — — — — — O2 % — 32.1 41. Applying oxygen enrichment to a new SRU can cut the flow rate through the SRU by half at the same sulfur recovery capacity as compared to an air-only unit.8 32.0 31.0 60.84 6.0 — — — — — — Refinery G Refinery H Refinery I Refinery J Refinery K Refinery M Refinery N 1 1 250 20 330 140 95/180 Refinery O Refinery P Refinery R 1 The sulfur production requirement decreased and sour water stripper (SWS) processing requirement significantly increased.0 100.9 0 0.0 100.8 95.7 29.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery Table 3-5—Revamp Plants Comparison Before Plant Revamp.1 8.53 4. Using oxygen enrichment will improve the following factors in sulfur recovery units: (1) (2) Increase unit capacity.1 40.8 11.9 — 3.5 25. this results in approximately 35% savings in investment cost.0 35.0 Refinery Item Refinery A Refinery B Refinery C Refinery D Refinery E Refinery F 1 S 60 70 15 32 42 48.34 1.7 27. 3-10 .9 New 51 150 19 240 x 2 NH3 — 1.3 — 30. Eliminate the limitation of air blower discharge pressure and plant hydraulics.4 44. The investment cost associated with an oxygen enrichment revamp is only 15% to 25% of a new air-based SRU. MTPD S 90 97 24 47 80 45 75 x 2 68 241 43 426 x 2 500 50 450 250 165/295 NH3 — 5.3 0.0 100.0 60.8 0 — — — — — — O2 — 53.0 100. Oxygen enrichment also provides substantial cost savings for new SRUs by reducing the sizes of the equipment. which excludes the cost of an onsite oxygen generation unit.9 26.1 13.6 24.3 63.6 0 — — — — — — O2 — 44.20 4.

Increase accuracy by computational fluid dynamic (CFD) program (means of predicting flame patterns for specified operating conditions). in fact. Facilitate the complete destruction of ammonia. Increase combustion chamber temperature.Section 3 (3) (4) (5) Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery Increase processing SWS offgas. heavy hydrocarbons [such as benzene.8. and other contaminants. Increase the tail gas unit capacity (cooling capacity of direct contact condenser should be evaluated. In these cases. and xylene (BTX)]. Moreover. Evaluate the existing degassing system and the sulfur rundown (required for large percentage of sulfur capacity). which serves as the second thermal stage. the following benefits could be realized by operators: (1) The new reaction furnace/WHB can be installed while the existing SRU is still in operation. Evaluate the existing incinerator (required for large percentage of sulfur capacity). Gas effluent from the new waste boiler is routed to the existing reaction furnace.2 Conventional Configuration for High Capacity Expansion The conventional configuration involves the addition of a new reaction furnace burner. for operating facilities limited by plot space. existing reaction furnaces and WHBs cannot be reused because of original design limitations.3. The operator could save substantial initial investment cost even for new SRUs if oxygen is available or can be imported across the fence. toluene. In addition. With this configuration the SURE Double Combustion technology allows SRU capacity to be expanded at considerably lower costs compared to building new air-based SRUs. and increase the stability of the flame temperature for lean acid gases. 3. The new equipment can be tied in with the existing 3-11 . a two-pass WHB with an extended head can be designed in which the extended head serves as the second-stage reaction furnace and the second pass serves as the second WHB (Figure 3-2). This two-pass WHB configuration effectively reduces capital cost and conserves plot space requirement. (6) (7) (8) (9) Various configuration options for high-level oxygen enrichment with WorleyParsons/BOC’s SURE Double Combustion process are available to suit the requirements of the individual facility. Occasionally. and WHB boiler upstream of the existing reaction furnace (Figure 3-1). oxygen enrichment reduces the plot area required and. and the amine circulation rate should be examined to ensure adequate amine circulation for H2S absorption). oxygen enrichment might be the most viable option for SRU capacity expansion. reaction furnace.

The SRU itself is always ready to receive oxygen.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery reaction furnace/WHB during a short period shutdown or during the SRU turnaround time. this further improves the safety of the SURE process. which involves only the oxygen supply system. Changing the mode of operation between air-only and oxygen enrichment is simple and smooth for the SURE process. The SURE Double Combustion design does not require shutting down and isolating a recycle loop when oxygen enrichment is not being used. (2) The simple piping for the SURE design reduces the possibility of accidental H2S emission and equipment failure compared to other commercially available processes. (3) (4) New NH 3 H 2S Burner RF W H B Existing W H B RF Air Reheater O2 Converter Condenser Sulfur Pit Figure 3-1—Conventional SURE Double Combustion Configuration Reusing Existing Reaction Furnace and WHB 3-12 . thus minimizing the loss of plant throughput while the technology is implemented.

which is normally within the schedule of a routine plant maintenance shutdown.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery Reaction Furnace #1 Burner Reaction Furnace #2 Oxygen Reheater Converter Condenser Sulfur Pit Figure 3-2—Conventional SURE Double Combustion Configuration with New Two-pass WHBs 3.3. The existing reaction furnaces and WHBs of the individual trains can be used as the second thermal stage. the second stage will either be a two pass WHB sharing a common shell with the first stage or an individual boiler. if the individual trains are far away from each other.000 F) from the first thermal stage travel a very long distance is undesirable. and WHB) can be shared by the various trains. reaction furnace. it might be necessary to install a new common second thermal stage. Having the hot effluent (>1. Therefore.3 Innovative Configuration for High-capacity Expansion When multiple SRU trains are involved. Typically. The new equipment could be installed onsite while the SRU is in operation. The effluent of the new WHB is split and routed to each of the existing reaction furnaces (Figure 3-3). Depending on the required capacity. the revamp tie-in work has been accomplished within 1 to 2 weeks. The relatively cool gas from the new second stage WHB is then split and tied into each of the existing number one sulfur condensers (Figure 3-4). one set of common new equipment (burner.8. Only a short downtime is needed to tie in the new equipment for high-level oxygen enrichment. Oxygen consumption can be reduced by treating part of the acid gas in the existing reaction furnaces and WHBs of the individual units using air. This configuration can also be applied when the sizes of the existing reaction furnaces and WHBs are not adequate to handle the required 3-13 . The effluent gas is also routed to the number one condenser and joins with the effluent of the new WHB for the remaining Claus process.

This operation mode will ensure that refinery or gas plant throughput is maintained and thus will avoid any loss of income. A. B. When one of the two trains is down. This operation mode will save oxygen cost. existing reaction furnaces of both trains can be operated with air at reduced capacity while the new reaction furnace/WHB operates with oxygen to provide the required additional capacity to both trains. This operation mode will ensure that refinery or gas plant throughput is maintained and thus avoids any loss of income. 3-14 . when no additional capacity is required during normal operation. existing reaction furnaces of both trains can be operated with air while the new reaction furnace/WHB can also be operated with air at reduced capacity. Spare Train Capacity Requirement Refer to the process configuration described in Figure 3-3.Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery capacity increase alone. Normal Capacity Expansion with Added Spare Train Capacity If additional sulfur processing capacity is required during normal operation. When one of the two trains is down. the reaction furnace of the operating train can be operated with air at reduced rate while the new reaction furnace/WHB is operated with oxygen to provide the spare train capacity with one single train operation. These common equipment configurations could be cost effective for the following revamp situations. the reaction furnace of the operating train can be operated with air at reduced rate while the new reaction furnace/WHB is operated with oxygen to provide the spare (double) train capacity with one single train operation. It can effectively reduce the pressure drop across the SRUs and hence provides greater flexibility in the event that additional Claus stage or tail gas treatment needs to be added to increase the sulfur recovery to meet more stringent emissions requirements.

Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery ~ RF WHB Condenser 1 ConverterConverter 2 1 ~ New oxygen Condenser Condenser 2 3 RF Amine AG SWS AG WHB Existing Burner oxygen ~ RF oxygen WHB Condenser 1 ConverterConverter 2 1 ~ Condenser Condenser 3 2 Figure 3-3—Parallel SURE Double Combustion Configuration Using Existing Reaction Furnace and WHB as Second Thermal Stage Providing 150% Capacity Increase ~ ~ ConverterConverter 2 1 RF Acid Gas Air WHB ~ Condenser 1 ~ Condenser Condenser 2 3 RF Amine AG SWS AG oxygen Burner oxygen ~ ~ ConverterConverter 2 1 RF Acid Gas Air WHB ~ ~ Condenser Condenser 3 2 Figure 3-4 – Parallel SURE Double Combustion Configuration with New Reaction Furnace and Waste Heat Boilers Providing 150% Capacity Increase 3-15 .

the existing reaction furnaces can be operated with up to 28% oxygen-enriched air and can still provide 125% of the original design capacity. If the new equipment is shut down.Section 3 C. the PROClaus process is a continuous dry catalytic process that operates the reaction furnace and the first Claus stage (or the second Claus stage) just like a conventional modified Claus unit. the sulfur processing complex may suffer reduced or total loss of capacity. 3. 3-16 . Figure 3-7 presents the PROClaus configuration. Figure 3-5 depicts the minimum cost configuration to double the sulfur processing capacity of both existing trains.4 WorleyParsons Latest Development – “PROClaus Process” WorleyParsons proprietary PROClaus (WorleyParsons RedOx Claus) process combines three distinct processing steps into one processing scheme: (1) (2) (3) Conventional Claus reaction Selective reduction of SO2 Selective oxidation of H2S This evolutionary process does not rely on tail gas hydrogenation. If the process configurations described in Figures 3-2 and 3-4 are the most desired configurations that fit well into the existing designed equipment. A second reaction furnace/WHB can be considered to install for the second train at a later time when budget is available to provide the desired operating flexibility while achieving the required sulfur processing capacity. This configuration and operation mode minimize the loss of sulfur processing capacity and still maintain more than half of the total required capacity if any one of the two trains is down or if the new equipment system is down. or cyclic sub-dewpoint operation. This operation mode would require the reaction furnace/WHB to be operated with oxygen during normal operation. it could be configured as described in Figure 3-6.8. and the stage Claus is followed by a selective reduction stage and a selective oxidation stage. H2S-shifted Claus operation. However.5% overall sulfur recovery pending the acid gas compositions. plot space availability. and/or budget target. Although this minimum cost configuration does not offer some desired operation flexibilities. Instead. In a 3-stage or 4-stage configuration. D. such a configuration can be implemented as a first-stage investment to accommodate the immediate needs. this configuration does provide a viable option for stage wise investment. Stage Wise Investment Option Considering the fact that configurations described in Figures 3-3 and 3-5 offer limited plant operation flexibility as when the new reaction furnace/WHB is down. Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery Provide 300% Additional Capacity for Two Existing Parallel Trains The new reaction furnace/WHB can be designed to provide up to 150% additional sulfur processing capacity for each of the two existing parallel SRUs resulting in a total additional capacity of 300%. PROClaus can achieve up to 99.3.

Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery ~ RF WHB Condenser 1 ConverterConverter 2 1 ~ New oxygen Condenser Condenser 2 3 RF Amine AG SWS AG WHB Existing Burner oxygen ~ RF oxygen WHB Condenser 1 ConverterConverter 2 1 ~ Condenser Condenser 3 2 Figure 3-5—Parallel SURE Double Combustion Configuration Using Existing Reaction Furnace and WHB as Second Thermal Stage Providing 300% Capacity Increase 3-17 .

Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery ~ ConverterConverter 2 1 ~ RF Acid Gas WHB ~ Condenser 1 ~ New Air Condenser Condenser 2 3 RF Amine AG SWS AG oxygen Existing Burner oxygen ~ ~ ConverterConverter 2 1 RF Acid Gas WHB ~ Condenser 1 ~ Air Condenser Condenser 2 3 Figure 3-6—Parallel SURE Double Combustion Configuration with New Reaction Furnace and WHBs Providing 300% Capacity Increase 3-18 .

Section 3 Evaluation of Key Elements for High Sulfur Recovery Air HP Steam Reaction Furnace Waste Heat Boiler Claus Converter Selective Reduction Converter Reheater Selective Oxidation Converter O2 Reheater Reheater No. 1 No.O Drum LP Steam Condenser No. 1 AC LP Steam Condenser No. 3 LP Steam Condenser No. 2 No. 4 Tail Gas Water Air BFW BFW BFW BFW M Air Blower Sulfur Pit Sulfur Pump Liquid Sulfur Figure 3-7—Three-stage PROClaus Process Flow Diagram 3-19 . 3 H2S/SO2 AC LP Steam Acid Gas K. 2 BFW Condenser No.

the refining industry. The PROClaus process presents the latest WorleyParsons technology of a 3 or 4stage air-based PROClaus to achieve up to 99. market outlook.5 percent overall sulfur recovery improve the sulfur recovery in order to meet the new EPA regulations. The PROClaus process is the most cost effective sulfur recovery process since there is no need for additional equipment for the tail gas unit. The capital and the operating costs are significantly lower than for a SRU/TGTU unit. 4-1 . which will have many impacts on fuel productions.Section 4 Conclusions Using conventional HDS units to deliver very low levels of sulfur depends on design parameters such as operating partial pressure of hydrogen. global trade flows. The new regulation will require increasing the sulfur capacity by 15% to 25%. The key features affecting the selection of the tail-gas treating processes should involve the application of the most common well-known technologies. all of the key step-by-step parameters should be considered. global petroleum demand. every refinery would need to invest in additional HDS capacity plant to address the lower limits for diesel. global petroleum markets. crude oil supply. which could be implemented by using oxygen enrichment in addition to other modifications to improve the sulfur recovery in order to meet the new EPA regulations. which dictates level of sulfur removal as well as catalyst life. In general. and the business environment. The key features in the regulatory effects of the sulfur removal facilities should include the new environmental regulations in the United States and in Europe. To select the proper tail-gas cleanup.

2000 5-1 . 3. San Francisco. PROClaus. a Perspective. New Performance in Sulfur Recovery. M. Bibliography EU Environmental Laws Impact Fuels Requirements. Brimstone. 2. published in HC Processing Magazine. British Sulphur Conference. Sulfur 269. and H. 2001 Silicon Carbide Supports New Improvements in Sulfur Recovery. 6. Venner. 5. M. Optimizing European Sulfur Recovery Plants. CA. Sames. Rameshni.A. 1991.F. Rameshni. Western Research. 4. Paskall. May 2000. Sulfur 266. Canada. Canmore. State-Of-the-Art in Gas Treating. S. J. Improving Sulfur Plant Performance.Section 5 1.G.

Appendix Acronyms and Abbreviations *SS API ARCO ASTM BOC BSR BTX CAA CBA CFD DOXO EPA EU FCC FSU GPA HCR LBNL MCRC MDEA MTBE MTPD NOX NPRA PROClaus RFG SCOT SRU SWS T&P TAME TGCU UAE UK VOC WHB symbology for Dow Solvent American Petroleum Institute Atlantic Richfield Co. tail gas technology American Society for Testing and Materials BOC Gases Company Beavon sulfur removal benzene. and xylene Clean Air Act cold bed adsorption computational fluid dynamic DOXO Sulfreen Process U. toluene.S. Environmental Protection Agency European Union Fluid Catalyst Cracker Former Soviet Union Gas Processing Associations HCR tail gas unit process Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Sub-dewpoint process by Delta Engineering methyldiethanolamine methyl tert-butyl ether metric tons per day nitrogen oxides National Petrochemical and Refiners Association WorleyParsons RedOx Claus reformulated gasoline Shell SCOT tail gas unit sulfur recovery unit sour water stripper temperature and pressure tertiary amyl ether tail gas cleaning unit United Arab Emirates United Kingdom volatile organic content waste heat boiler A-1 .

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