December 2005

Refining Developments

Optimize Claus operations

New methods consider applying higher ratios of H2S to SO2 to increase processing flexibility for this refinery unit

Micucci, L., Siirtec Nigi S.p.A.

Traditionally the stoichiometry of the Claus sulfur-forming reactions suggests operating this unit at a hydrogen sulfide (H2S) to sulfur dioxide (SO2) ratio of 2:1. In practice, it requires monitoring the tail gas leaving the last sulfur condenser to maintain this 2:1 ratio while maximizing sulfur recovery. However, refineries have multiple feed streams with varying volumes and sulfur content. Thus, the flowrates and composition of feeds to the Claus unit change widely. New operating methodologies consider using higher Claus ratios of H2S/SO2 such as 4:1. These methods can offer higher plant operating flexibility to achieve 99.8% sulfur recovery while promoting high unit availability and i

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