Sulfur Recovery in Refineries or Natural Gas Plants

Recovery done right
Debottlenecking Claus plants in refineries through smart, selective and safe investments in oxygen enrichment (O2e)
Claus plant in oil refinery complex
Oxygen Enrichment for Claus Plants

With the growing need to process sour crudes, petroleum refiners and natural gas processors face the two-fold challenge of removing increased sulfur content to meet strict environmental regulations and doing it cost-effectively. Our enhanced combustion technology can help them meet these challenges. It relies on oxygen enrichment to increase the capacity of sulfur recovery units (SRU) in Claus plants, eliminating the need for new, costly sulfur removal units.

Claus plants normally provide up to 98% of the sulfur recovery capability in a refinery or natural gas processing operation. To recover the sulfur from sour crudes, the Claus plant reaction furnace typically combusts the air and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) that result from sulfur processing. H2S is then partially oxidized and catalytically converted to produce high-purity molten sulfur.

A worker taking a sample for testing at a Claus plant
Capacity Gains with Low to High Levels of Enrichment

In a Linde oxygen enrichment system, oxygen is supplied to the Claus plant through a sparger connected to the air line feeding into the reaction furnace. The oxygen can also be injected directly into the furnace through a lance or burner, or feed air can be completely replaced by oxygen supplied from a burner in the furnace. In some cases, complete feed air replacement can double Claus plant capacity. The resulting higher oxygen concentration increases the operating temperature of the furnace, which leads to steadier operation and greater ammonia destruction. As a result, the Claus reaction furnace maximizes its ability to combust the oxygen and air mixture and the H2S produced during processing, working with system converters and condensers to recover the sulfur. Increased oxygen also means lower nitrogen volumes, which reduces gas volume in tail gas treatment.

A sulfur recovery site with yellow piles of sulfur outside against the backdrop of emission towers
Comprehensive O2e Solution

Further benefits of our sulfur recovery system include increased flexibility as oxygen is available on demand, improved conversion, low-cost installation and energy savings. We offer extensive safety training for proper operation, and use a computer program to help determine the effect of oxygen enrichment on your SRU. We work closely with you to fine-tune piping and sparger design, and to support installation and start-up.

Benefits of Oxygen Enrichment in Claus Plants
  • Increased sulfur handling capacity and removal of bottlenecks
  • Increased productivity without changing the pressure drop
  • Greater flexibility to handle a wider operating envelope with the option to modify process intensification on demand
  • More effective treatment of ammonia-containing feeds
  • Less effort for tail gas purification (reduced nitrogen flow)
  • Greater redundancy - especially with multi-train systems
Two Claus units at an oil refinery

How can we help you?

Discover how process gases can help debottleneck your Claus process flow
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