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Journal of Engineering (JOE) ISSN: 2325-0224 Vol. 2, No. 3, 2013, Pages: 113-117 Copyright © World Science Publisher, United States www.worldsciencepublisher.org

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Simulation of the Production of Sulfuric Acid from a Sulfur-burning Single-absorption Contact Sulfuric Acid Plant

Muhammad Ruhul Amin 1 , Nilay Kumar Sarker 2 , Tanveer Ahmed Khan 3 , Muhammad Shahidul Islam. 4

1- Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department, BUET, Dhaka, Bangladesh 2-Chemical Engineering Department, BUET, Dhaka, Bangladesh 3-Chemical Engineering Department, BUET, Dhaka, Bangladesh 4-Research Assistant, Chemical Engineering Department, BUET, Dhaka, Bangladesh Email: 1 ruhulaminbuet@gmail.com

2 n_k_sarker031@outlook.com

3 limon.buetbd@gmail.com

4 shahidul.islam96@gmail.com

Abstract: The purpose of this work is to develop and implement an effective knowledge on simulation of process plant in HYSYS. A theoretical examination of the simulation of Sulfuric acid process plant has been demonstrated in our work. Relationship among changes on several parameters has also been studied. The burner outlet temperature shows linearly increasing relationship with the liquid sulfur temperature. Waste energy flow shows linearly decreasing relationship with the boiler outlet temperature. Flue gas temperature initially had no regular relationship with Absorber inlet temperature, but with temperature increased more than 60 0 Celsius it seems to decrease linearly. Flu gas pressure has no effect on Absorber inlet temperature. The mass flow of Sulfuric Acid for storage decreases linearly with the increasing temperature of moist air. The molar enthalpy of Sulfuric Acid for storage increases linearly up to 50 0 Celsius, and after this temperature the increase is associated linearly with higher slope. In this design HYSYS has been successfully used to design every sub-process of the sulfuric acid plant in one integrated environment. Peng-Robinson was used for liquid and vapor phase respectively as fluid package and HYSYS properties were used for simulation.

Keywords: Simulation, Sulfuric acid, Catalysis, Reaction, Sulfur.

1. Introduction

Sulfuric acid is the chemical product manufactured in largest quantity in terms of mass, with about 40 million tons produced annually only in USA [11] . It has a wide range of uses and plays an important role in the production of almost all manufactured goods. Approximately 65% of the H 2 SO 4 produced is used in the production of agricultural fertilizers.

Among several process of production of sulfuric acid, contact process is very popular [10] . Existing situation necessitate restrictions to reduce the impact of process industry on environment. The high maintenance cost of sulfuric acid plants, stringent requirements on SO 2 emissions, importance of energy efficiency, and accurate equipment sizing and rating has made the simulation of the plant challenging. Because of worldwide pressure to reduce SO 2 emissions, most new plants now utilize Double Contact Double Absorption [6] and many existing plants have been modified to use it. There are a few sulfuric acid plants in Bangladesh and even those are rather old and are facing now additional challenges that

aim to maximize the amount of energy produced while reducing the environmental impact. Almost all the existing processing plants are now operating beyond their capacities. In such a case the idea of process modeling of the general sulfuric acid processing plant will surely pave a way to a sustainable solution.

One of the most market-leading process modeling tool that uses best-in-class process technologies and has the ability to provide process design knowledge to improve the profitability and efficiency of the business-is HYSYS. Several works have been carried out on the dynamic simulation and optimization for an existing sulfuric acid plant. Operational problems may occur when the process is disturbed due to production rate changes or catalyst deactivation, the non-linear response of the plant leading to sustained oscillations. Since the plant is operated near full capacity, only minor increases in energy production can be achieved. However, the SO x emissions can be significantly reduced by ~40% or more, by optimizing the operating parameters.

HYSYS [4] simulation engineering enables engineers to model the sulfuric acid processes in one integrated

environment. It has been successfully utilized by plant owners/ operators, engineering and construction companies, and technology providers to improve yields, increase plant efficiency and quality, and reduce capital and operating costs. This project as the intention to carry out the simulation [3] of the sulfuric acid processing using the HYSYS process simulator. The steady state simulation of the processing plant shall be performed based on both the design and physical property data of any general plant [12] [13] .

2. Methodology

2.1. Process Description

At first step, moist air is fed to drying tower to reduce moisture content. Recycle H2SO4 is fed to drying tower to absorb moisture content from air. Dry air and liquid sulfur are fed to sulfur burner. Here all sulfur is burnt to SO2. As the burner outlet is much hot, it is passed through waste heat boiler and then fed to converter

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reactor 1. Here SO2 converts to SO3. As desired amount of SO2 does not convert so converter 1 outlet is passed through cooler 1 and then fed to converter reactor 2. After passing two converter reactors, desired conversion of SO2 is found. In this whole process, conversion of SO2 to SO3 is the most important reaction. Now converter 2 outlet is passed through cooler 2 and with recycle H2SO4 (absorber inlet) fed to absorber tower. In this unit, SO3 and H2O react and produce H2SO4 .All gaseous components in this unit are emitted as flu gas and all liquid components are emitted as H2SO4 conc. This stream, DM water and H2SO4 (drying tower outlet) are mixed in mixer and splitted in splitter into three streams. One stream, H2SO4 (for storage) is the final product, another stream recycle H2SO4 is sent back to absorption tower after cooling and the rest stream, recycle H2SO4 is recycled to drying tower. In figure 2.1, simplified process block diagram of sulfuric acid production plant is given.

block diagram of sulfuric acid production plant is given. Figure-2.1 : Process block diagram of production

Figure-2.1: Process block diagram of production of sulfuric acid by contact process.

In figure 2.2, process flow diagram of sulfuric acid production plant is given.

flow diagram of sulfuric acid production plant is given. Figure-2.2 : Hysys process flow diagram production

Figure-2.2: Hysys process flow diagram production of sulfuric acid by contact process.

2.3. Reactions Involved

There are three reactions that occur in overall process for the production of H2SO4. Among those reactions, reaction (1) occurs in the burner while reaction (2) occurs in both converter reactors 1 and 2. After completion of reactions (1) and (2), reaction (3) occurs in the absorber tower.

S + O2 = SO2

(1)

2SO2 + O2 = 2SO3

(2)

SO3 + H2O = H2SO4 (3) Thermodynamically all reactions are exothermic. Reaction (2) is rate limiting step.

3. Results and Discussions

After completion of simulation, results for storage of H2SO4 is found with flow rate of 1101 kg/hr. From the simulation we also have obtained effects of different parameters on flu gas, product H2SO4 and different heating.

3.1. Effect of liquid sulfur temperature on burner outlet temperature.

From figure 3.1, it can be understood that burner outlet temperature increases with the increase of liquid sulfur temperature with positive slope. At 1000C of liquid sulfur temperature, burner outlet temperature becomes almost 7020C. With further increase in liquid sulfur temperature, burner outlet temperature increases in a linear fashion and reaches a value of almost 7140C at 2000C of liquid sulfur temperature. Hence, we can conclude that as high the temperature of liquid sulfur, higher the temperature of burner outlet.

of liquid sulfur, higher the temperature of burner outlet. Figure-3.1 : Effect of liquid sulfur temperature

Figure-3.1: Effect of liquid sulfur temperature ( 0 C) on

burner outlet temperature ( 0 C).

3.2. Effect of boiler outlet temperature on waste

energy heat flow.

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From figure 3.2, it is observed that waste energy heat flow decreases linearly with the increase of boiler outlet temperature. At 3000C of boiler outlet temperature, waste energy heat flow becomes almost 4.690e+006 kJ/h. With further increase in boiler outlet temperature, waste energy heat flow decreases in a linear fashion and reaches a value of almost 2.900e+006 kJ/h at 5000C of boiler outlet temperature.

2.900e+006 kJ/h at 5000C of boiler outlet temperature. Figure-3.2: Effect of boiler outlet temperature ( 0

Figure-3.2: Effect of boiler outlet temperature ( 0 C) on waste energy heat flow (kJ/h).

3.3. Effect of absorber inlet temperature on flu gas temperature.

From figure 3.3, it is observed that flu gas temperature decreases sharply with the increase of absorber inlet temperature for the range of 40 to 500C and increases sharply for the range of 50 to 600C then decreases slowly with the increase of absorber inlet temperature.

slowly with the increase of absorber inlet temperature. Figure-3.3 : Effect of absorber inlet temperature (

Figure-3.3: Effect of absorber inlet temperature ( 0 C) on flu gas temperature ( 0 C).

3.4. Effect of absorber inlet temperature on flu

gas pressure.

From figure 3.5, it is noticed that flu gas pressure

remains constant throughout the change of absorber inlet temperature. At 400C of absorber inlet temperature, flu gas pressure becomes 200 kPa. With further increase in temperature no change in pressure is observer. So, absorber inlet temperature has no effect on flu gas pressure. Hence it remains constant despite any change of absorber inlet temperature.

constant despite any change of absorber inlet temperature. Figure-3.4 : Effect of absorber inlet temperature (

Figure-3.4: Effect of absorber inlet temperature ( 0 C) on flu gas pressure (kPa).

3.5. Effect of product H2SO4 (for storage) temperature on cooling heat flow. From figure 3.6, it is observed that cooling heat flow decreases linearly with the increase of product H2SO4 temperature. At 200C of product H2SO4 temperature, cooling heat flow becomes almost 5.500e+005 kJ/h. With further increase in product H2SO4 temperature, waste energy heat flow decreases in a linear fashion and reaches a value of almost 3.400e+005 kJ/h at 600C of product H2SO4 temperature.

almost 3.400e+005 kJ/h at 600C of product H2SO4 temperature. Figure-3.5 : Effect of product H2SO4 (for

Figure-3.5: Effect of product H2SO4 (for storage) temperature (0C) on cooling heat flow (kJ/h).

3.6. Effect of moist air temperature on product

H 2 SO 4 (for storage) flow rate.

From figure 3.7, it is observed that product H2SO4 (for storage) flow rate decreases exponentially with the increase of moist air temperature. At 150C of moist air temperature, product H2SO4 (for storage) flow rate

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becomes almost 1435 kg/h. With further increase in moist air temperature, flow rate decreases gradually in exponential fashion and reaches a value of almost 1175 kg/h at 450C of product H2SO4 flow rate. Hence, moist air temperature has negative effect on production which reduces the production rate of H2SO4.

on production which reduces the production rate of H2SO4. Figure-3.6 : Effect of moist air temperature

Figure-3.6: Effect of moist air temperature ( 0 C) on

product

H 2 SO 4 (for storage) flow rate kg/h.

3.7. Effect of DM water temperature on product H 2 SO 4 (for storage) molar enthalpy.

From figure 3.8, it is observed that molar enthalpy increases almost linearly with the increase of DM water temperature for the range 30 to 50 0 C. At 30 0 C of DM water temperature, cooling molar enthalpy becomes almost -4.400e+005 kJ/kgmole. With further increase in DM water temperature, molar enthalpy increases up to - 4.350e+005 kJ/kgmole. But after 50 0 C it increases almost linearly with higher increasing rate compared to the previous one.

with higher increasing rate compared to the previous one. Figure-3.7 : Effect of DM water temperature

Figure-3.7: Effect of DM water temperature ( 0 C) on product H 2 SO 4 (for storage) molar enthalpy (kJ/kgmole).

4. Conclusions

A simulation model of Sulfuric acid process plant was developed in this work. Additional material and energy

flows, sized unit operations blocks can be used to conduct economic assessment of each process and optimize each of them for profit maximization. This model can also be used as a guide for understanding the process and the economics, and also a starting point for more sophisticated models for plant designing and process equipment specifying.

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