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Foster Wheeler adds sulfur recovery to its portfolio

03.21.2011  | 

Foster Wheeler’s newly acquired sulfur recovery technology brings clear advantages to its refinery customers.


Foster Wheeler’s newly acquired sulfur recovery technology brings clear advantages to its refinery customers.  The technology provides a smaller footprint, as well as cost-effective designs with enhanced operability features.  Included in the proprietary technology is a Claus unit burner that is capable of destroying ammonia up to 25 mole % in the SRU feed, and providing low level oxygen enrichment up to 28 mole %.  The units typically deliver overall sulfur recovery efficiencies ranging from 96% to 99.95% and higher, whereas efficiencies of other sulfur removal technology, for Claus type units, trend a bit lower. 

In December 2010, Foster Wheeler acquired this sulfur recovery technology.  The personnel employed at the new Foster Wheeler Salt Lake City, Utah, office are knowledgeable in the design of SRU unit operations, including Claus units, tail gas treating units, tail gas incinerators, sulfur storage, sulfur degassing, sulfur pit vent disposition, sour liquid or gas amine absorbers, amine regenerators, sour water strippers, sulfur condensers and waste heat boilers, as well as hazardous waste incineration, natural gas processing and general refinery unit operations.

Coupled with the small footprint, our design offers reduced piping runs that are completely free draining.  Lower corrosion and reduced pressure drop are clear benefits from the reduced pipe routing, which results in lower Capex and enhanced operability and maintenance

Furthermore, all sulfur condenser passes (except the final pass) are typically routed through a single shell, based on unit capacity.  We have also successfully designed units in which the thermal reactor waste heat boiler was also included with the sulfur condenser, in a single shell.  The mechanical expertise required for reliable and safe design of the waste heat boiler and sulfur condenser tubesheets, as well as the partitioning of the condenser passes in the boiler plenums, has been developed through many years of experience.  Steam pressures ranging from 50 psig to 600 psig are available, and each plant is designed to be self-sustaining in steam usage during normal operation.  According to Foster Wheeler, these proven, innovative designs help to set its technology apart from the rest. 

This sulfur technology is currently operating all over the world, in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.  Currently, Foster Wheeler is performing basic engineering of sulfur recovery units for two refineries in South America, each with an MDEA amine tail gas treating unit followed by tail gas incineration.   Other current design work includes sour water stripping units for upstream oil and gas production, to remove the H2S from a produced water stream. 

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