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Lecture 1

Sulfur and Sulfuric Acid

Sulfur
Sulfur is the basic raw material for manufacture of sulfuric acid

Properties of sulfur
Atomic weight = 32.07
M.P. = 112 119 degC
B.P. = 445 degC
Insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents and liquid ammonia

Consumption of sulfur
80 90% of sulfur containing raw materials are converted to these
oxidized forms
SO2, SO3, H2SO4 Oleum (H2SO4 + SO3)
End uses of for elemental sulfur are
85 90 % for sulfuric acid production
Rest for production of:
1. SO2, SO3
2. Gunpowder, sulfur dyes
3. Rubber vulcanization agents
4. Sulfur concreate
5. Paper

Classification of Sulfur Production

1.

Elemental sulfur Mining Frasch Process (involves no chemical reaction)

2.

Oxidation-reduction of H2S from natural gas and industrial gases

3.

Elemental sulfur from Pyrites (FeS2) Finnish Process

Oxidation--reduction of H2S
Oxidation
Chemical Reactions
(a)

2H 2S + 3O 2 2SO 2 + 2H 2 O

(b)

4H 2S + 2SO 2

Al2 O3

H O = - 247.89Kcal

6S(gas)+ 4H 2O

H O = - 42.24 Kcal

Raw materials:
H2S from natural (sour) gas and prtoleum refinery streams
Process Description:
H2S and air burned in reaction (a)
The product SO2 reacts with H2S by reaction (b) in a two-stage catalytic
converter with intercooling and condensing
Final waste gas is scrubbed with molten sulfur

Flowsheet of OxidationOxidation-reduction of H2S

Sulfuric Acid
Properties of Sulfuric Acid
Mol. Wt. 98.08, MP = 10.5 degC, BP = 340 degC
Solubility: Completely miscible with water with large heat of solution, with
SO3 giving varying percentage of oleum
Methods of production:
Chamber process
Contact process

Contact Process for the production of Sulfuric Acid


Combustion Chamber (combustion of sulfur)

Converter ( conversion of sulfur dioxide)

Absorption tower (sulfur dioxide absorbed


into the sulfuric acid mist)

Hydration of oleum (to produce sulfuric acid)

Flowsheet of Contact Process for the production of Sulfuric


Acid