November 2004

Plant Safety and Environment

Improve sulfur recovery operations

When this unit fails, environmental violations are possible

Armstrong, T., John M. Campbell & Co.

How well is your Claus sulfur recovery unit (SRU) operating? If the tail-gas ratio is two and the incinerator emissions are within acceptable limits, is the SRU operating effectively? What is not readily apparent from these simple metrics is whether you are running a high sulfur load on the tail gas clean-up unit (TGCU) or maximum SRU capacity. No objective criteria are available to measure the performance of an SRU. The tail-gas ratio and front-end pressure are indications of performance, but they do not adequately prove the health of this unit. Capacity, conversion and recovery are keen interest areas for an SRU. This available information can be analyzed and trended over time. Such effort

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