January 2011

Special Report: Gas Processing Developments

Consider different alternatives for enriching lean acid gases

New developments improve operation of Claus sulfur recovery units

ZareNezhad, B., Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Semnan University

Lean acid-gas enrichment processes can be used to upgrade low-quality offgas from treating units to higher-quality Claus plant feed or to smaller volume streams that are suitable for reinjection. The process objective is minimizing hydrogen sulfide (H2S) leaks into the system’s vent gas, thus producing a gas enriched in H2S to the greatest extent possible. Designing and operating acid-gas enrichment plants are highly sensitive for a number of parameters, including lean-solvent temperature (a serious constraint in the Middle East). Other parameters are feed gas, including H2S/carbon dioxide (CO2), choice of tower internals type, number of contact trays, and solvent selection. Managing

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