February 2007

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Debottleneck operations due to 'cleaner fuels' production

Oxygen enrichment is an option to reduce loadings for Claus plant

de Lourdes Conde, M., Heisel, M., Linde AG; Schreiner, B., Linde AG, Linde Gas Division

Production of cleaner fuels has increased co-generation of ammonia (NH3) as a byproduct. Severe hydrogenation of crude is done to convert organically bound sulfur into hydrogen sulfide (H2S); in addition, some nitrogen reacts, thus forming NH3. Both the H2S and NH3 end up in the Claus plant of the refinery, which processes H2S into elemental sulfur (S). The Claus unit removes pollutants—decomposing NH3. As more sulfur is removed by various processing units to yield  cleaner fuels, the Claus plant's loading of H2S and NH3 likewise is increasing. In fact, overloading can become a bottleneck for Claus operations and the refinery. To mitigate overloading the Claus unit, oxygen (O2) e

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